Pittwater Life December 2023 Issue




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The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

FREE<br />

pittwaterlife<br />





IFC LJ Hooker Northern Beaches IN $1485 + GST. Page 2

Editorial<br />

Mackellar boundary shift?<br />

The next Federal election<br />

may not be until 2025 but<br />

already there is interest in the<br />

lead-up to the poll.<br />

The Australian Electoral<br />

Commission needs to scrap one<br />

electoral Division (seat) in NSW.<br />

And electorates that do not<br />

meet enrollment quotas may<br />

need to change boundaries to<br />

justify their existence.<br />

That applies to Mackellar.<br />

Currently, members of the<br />

community, MPs and political<br />

parties are being invited<br />

to make suggestions about<br />

potential changes to electorate<br />

boundaries. The submissions,<br />

publicly available on the<br />

Commission’s website, make<br />

for interesting reading.<br />

Check out our story on p18.<br />

* * *<br />

The NSW Government has<br />

sent Northern Beaches<br />

Council into a flurry with<br />

the news it is planning to<br />

commence $150 million worth<br />

of safety upgrades on the<br />

Wakehurst Parkway next year.<br />

The works are expected to<br />

take two years.<br />

Meanwhile Council has<br />

shifted into overdrive to coordinate<br />

the determination of<br />

its three-stage flood mitigation<br />

works, to try to align with the<br />

government’s works. See p26.<br />

* * *<br />

It has been a tough past 12<br />

months for workers, families<br />

and the business community,<br />

with cost-of-living pressures<br />

continuing to eat into our lives.<br />

On behalf of the <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

<strong>Life</strong> team we’d like to thank<br />

all readers and advertisers<br />

for their support through a<br />

difficult year.<br />

We sincerely hope we’ve been<br />

able to inform and entertain<br />

you throughout <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

And we’d like to wish<br />

everyone a happy and safe<br />

Festive Season and Christmas<br />

holiday. See you in 2024!<br />

– Nigel Wall & Lisa Offord<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 3





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Publisher: Nigel Wall<br />

Managing Editor: Lisa Offord<br />

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Burton, Gabrielle Bryant,<br />

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* The complete <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> archive can be<br />

found at the State Library of NSW.<br />

Vol 34 No 5<br />

Celebrating 33 years<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

FREE<br />

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72<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />





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Retirees, mums, kids to deliver<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> once a month.<br />

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thislife<br />

INSIDE: The PEP-11 offshore gas lease is not ‘dead in the<br />

water’ (p9); Dr Sophie Scamps has joined the chorus calling<br />

for the Mona Vale Road West upgrade to be reinstated (p10);<br />

Narrabeen surfer Laura Enever recounts her world record<br />

Big Wave ride (p12); Listen to Jason Breen’s ‘whale’ of a tale<br />

(p14); Iva Davies and Icehouse will play at the Sydney Opera<br />

House to mark its 50th Anniversary (p20); what’s your view<br />

on the new Mona Vale murals (p28)?; and the Big Swim is<br />

celebrating its 50th anniversary in January (p44).<br />

COVER: ‘Isopogon’ / Julie Hickson <strong>2023</strong> podandpod.com.au<br />

also this month<br />

Editorial 3<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Local News & Features 8-41<br />

The Way We Were 32<br />

Seen... Heard... Absurd... 34<br />

Community News 36-41<br />

<strong>Life</strong> Story: 50 years of The Big Swim 44-48<br />

Hot Property 50<br />

Art 52-54<br />

Author Q&A 56<br />

Health & Wellbeing; Hair & Beauty 58-63<br />

Money 64-65<br />

Crossword 70<br />

Food & Tasty Morsels 72-75<br />

Gardening 76-78<br />


Bookings & advertising material to set for<br />

our JANUARY 2024 issue MUST be supplied by<br />


Finished art & editorial submissions deadline:<br />


The JANUARY 2024 issue will be published<br />



All contents are subject to copyright and may not be reproduced except with the<br />

written consent of the copyright owner. All advertising rates are subject to GST.<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> The Local Voice Since 1991

News<br />

Scamps clarifies Medicare ‘win’<br />

Mackellar Independent MP Dr Sophie Scamps has<br />

applauded the Federal Government’s cash injection<br />

to strengthen the Medicare system – but warns that<br />

it will actually do little to lower the cost of seeing the family<br />

doctor.<br />

Last month the Albanese Government tripled bulk-billing<br />

incentives for GPs in a bid to make<br />

it easier and less expensive to see<br />

a GP.<br />

The Government said it was the<br />

largest investment in bulk billing<br />

in the 40-year history of Medicare,<br />

describing bulk billing as “the<br />

beating heart of Medicare”.<br />

Federal Senator for NSW Tony<br />

Sheldon said Labor’s investment<br />

would make it easier for more<br />

than 27,000 children and their<br />

families and 28,000 pensioners<br />

and concession cardholders in<br />

Mackellar to see a bulk-billed GP.<br />

“Doctors’ groups have called this a ‘game-changer’ and GPs<br />

have said this will help them maintain – and even shift back –<br />

to bulk billing,” he said.<br />

Senator Sheldon explained that on top of the investment in<br />

bulk billing, the Government was investing in a $1.5 billion<br />

indexation boost across the board to Medicare rebates,<br />

increasing the amount that doctors receive for Medicare<br />

services and reducing pressure on GPs.<br />

“I know how important it is for our community to be able to<br />

see a doctor when and where they need it.<br />

INCREASING COSTS: Dr Scamps applauds the cash injection but<br />

says the decline in Medicare rebates still needs to be addressed.<br />

“Our historic investments into bulk billing will make a big<br />

difference in Mackellar,” he said.<br />

Dr Scamps told <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> the freeze on Medicare rebates<br />

for nine years imposed by successive Liberal governments<br />

meant that seeing their family doctor became increasingly<br />

difficult for many patients, due to out-of-pocket costs.<br />

“So I very much welcome these<br />

incentives to boost bulk billing<br />

rates and this investment in the<br />

health of Australians,” she said.<br />

However, Dr Scamps said the<br />

changes did not address the<br />

decline in the actual Medicare<br />

rebate – the amount the patient<br />

gets back from Medicare.<br />

“So those people who are not<br />

under the age of 16 or concession<br />

card holders continue to face<br />

increasing costs to see a GP.<br />

“GP practices are still under<br />

enormous pressure because of<br />

rising costs. More needs to be done to ensure they can provide<br />

quality, affordable healthcare to all their patients.<br />

“As a GP I know how vitally important the availability<br />

of bulk billing is to young families and older residents of<br />

Mackellar.<br />

“I would urge the Government to consider in the next<br />

budget further measures to ensure that primary healthcare is<br />

affordable for all and that GPs can run viable practices,” she<br />

said.<br />

– Nigel Wall<br />

*What do you think? Tell us at readers@pittwaterlife.com.au<br />

8 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Bill ‘no constitutional risk’<br />

The spectre of offshore gas and oil<br />

drilling – including the controversial<br />

PEP-11 lease off the NSW Central<br />

Coast – remains afloat after a NSW<br />

Parliamentary Committee recommended<br />

the voting down of a Bill that would<br />

have seen it ‘dead in the water’ once and<br />

for all.<br />

Further, last month the Labordominated<br />

Committee ‘gagged’ debate<br />

on the Bill, pushing back discussion<br />

until March.<br />

The move comes after the Opposition<br />

tabled its Minerals Legislation<br />

Amendment (Offshore Drilling and<br />

Associated Infrastructure Prohibition)<br />

Bill <strong>2023</strong>, which it said would effectively<br />

stop projects like PEP-11 by preventing<br />

any development associated with gas<br />

drilling, such as pipelines, through the<br />

seabed in NSW coastal waters.<br />

The initial report of the Parliamentary<br />

Committee raised concerns the Bill<br />

could be “constitutionally invalid”.<br />

However those claims have been<br />

rubbished by lawyers representing<br />

activist group Surfers for Climate (SFC).<br />

SFC co-founder Belinda Baggs said<br />

that while acknowledging “serious<br />

concerns from the community about<br />

the potential negative environmental<br />

impacts of offshore drilling” and that<br />

there was “significant opposition”<br />

to such projects in NSW, the Report<br />

recommended only that existing<br />

environmental assessments standards<br />

be reviewed.<br />

“It is clear this recommendation goes<br />

against everything the people of NSW<br />

want,” she said. “The Government needs<br />

to tell us: Why isn’t it stopping PEP-11?<br />

Hannah Marshall, partner at Marque<br />

Lawyers, said: “We disagree that the Bill<br />

carries any significant Constitutional<br />

risk. It does not create any new<br />

inconsistency with Commonwealth laws.<br />

“NSW already controls activity in NSW<br />

coastal waters. Activity in the offshore<br />

areas falls under federal authority.<br />

NSW can already ‘impair’ offshore<br />

exploration and drilling activity by<br />

denying licences for infrastructure in<br />

NSW coastal waters. It is already the<br />

NSW policy position not to support new<br />

offshore drilling activity.<br />

“If the idea was that the<br />

Commonwealth retain control over<br />

infrastructure in state coastal waters,<br />

the law could say that. But it doesn’t.”<br />

Opposition Leader Mark Speakman<br />

said it was another broken Minns Labor<br />

Government promise.<br />

CONCERN:<br />

Offshore<br />

gas drilling.<br />

“Before the election, Labor repeatedly<br />

said that they were opposed to PEP-11<br />

and would ban it,” Mr Speakman said.<br />

“But now that they have the opportunity<br />

to protect our environment from<br />

offshore drilling risks, they decide to<br />

vote it down.”<br />

Shadow Environment Minister Kellie<br />

Sloane, the sole Coalition committee<br />

member, said the Government was<br />

using the excuse of an entirely<br />

hypothetical future fight with the<br />

Federal Government to vote against the<br />

Bill.<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> MP Rory Amon, who<br />

introduced the Bill, said: “Labor<br />

continue to play pure politics, referring<br />

the Bill to a partisan committee for<br />

a Government stitch-up – Labor’s<br />

committee now recommends the Bill be<br />

dumped,” he said. – Nigel Wall<br />

*What do you think? Tell us at<br />

readers@pittwaterlife.com.au<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 9

News<br />

Abandoned Mona Vale Rd ‘danger’<br />

Mackellar Federal Independent MP<br />

Dr Sophie Scamps and Northern<br />

Beaches Council have joined the<br />

chorus of community frustration at the<br />

mothballing of the second stage of the<br />

$340 million Mona Vale Road upgrade.<br />

In a rare display of tripartisan<br />

support, Dr Scamps and Council joined<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> State MP Rory Amon in<br />

calling on the NSW Minns Government<br />

to undertake a safety audit on the<br />

abandoned 1.5-kilometre stretch of road<br />

between Kimbriki tip and Addison Road,<br />

Ingleside.<br />

With the East upgrade almost<br />

complete, works were due to commence<br />

on the West upgrade in 2024 – before the<br />

NSW Government deferred the project<br />

citing a ‘no needs’ status.<br />

However, both local members are now<br />

highlighting that the West section is now<br />

more dangerous than before, with high<br />

mounds of cut-and-fill transferred from<br />

the East upgrade planned in readiness<br />

for the West upgrade now blocking vision<br />

at the notorious blackspot.<br />

At its November meeting, Council<br />

resolved to write to Premier Minns noting<br />

its concerns following recent serious<br />

accidents on Mona Vale Road (West) and<br />

expressing its support for the upgrade.<br />

It called on the Government to fully<br />

fund the upgrade in the 2024/25 State<br />

Government Budget.<br />

Latest traffic modelling by Transport<br />

for NSW projects a 12 per cent increase<br />

in weekday vehicle numbers travelling<br />

on the Wakehurst Parkway between<br />

Frenchs Forest and Narrabeen by 2046<br />

– building each year it will place added<br />

pressure on Mona Vale Road as motorists<br />

seek an alterative route to exit <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

to access the Sydney CBD via Belrose.<br />

Transport for NSW’s traffic tool shows<br />

Mona Vale Road is used by more than<br />

30,000 vehicles each way from Mona Vale<br />

to Terrey Hills each weekday.<br />

Dr Scamps told <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong>: “The<br />

people of the Northern Beaches and<br />

Mackellar have been waiting for years<br />

ROAD CLOSED: A head-on collision in July on the West section of Mona Vale Rd.<br />

for an upgrade to Mona Vale Road. This<br />

stretch is an identified black spot and<br />

should be a priority for an upgrade.<br />

“It is very disappointing that the<br />

people of Northern Beaches have been<br />

overlooked once again by the NSW State<br />

Government which deferred the western<br />

upgrade for two years in its last budget.”<br />

Dr Scamps said she would ask<br />

Minister for Roads Jo Haylen and also<br />

Infrastructure NSW to conduct an<br />

assessment of the safety risks of leaving<br />

the works half completed for so long,<br />

as well as associated traffic congestion<br />

implications.<br />

State MP Rory Amon wrote to Premier<br />

Chris Minns and Ms Haylen in late<br />

November, also calling for a safety audit.<br />

He said Mona Vale Road West was left<br />

a construction site, with no funding to<br />

complete or make the road.<br />

Mr Amon wrote: “Following the Government’s<br />

cancellation of the Mona Vale<br />

Road West upgrade, there has been a<br />

spate of near deadly accidents along the<br />

very section of road that was to be upgraded.<br />

A partly done job and construction<br />

site seems to be increasing safety<br />

risks and the frequency of accidents.<br />

“I recently asked you questions in<br />

Parliament about the Government’s response<br />

to recent accidents. Your responses<br />

were inadequate and an affront to the<br />

victims and to the tens of thousands of<br />

residents put at risk and impacted.<br />

“Will you commission a safety audit of<br />

Mona Vale Road West to understand the<br />

safety risks posed by the construction<br />

site and a road which halves in width<br />

along the Western section (the remainder<br />

of the road is four lanes)?<br />

“Will you commit to funding to implement<br />

safety measures recommended by<br />

the audit? Lives are at risk. Please act<br />

now. Your Government is on notice of<br />

these risks.”<br />

Opposition Leader Mark Speakman<br />

said if ever a location was crying out for<br />

an upgrade, it was the Mona Vale West<br />

section.<br />

“There has been an enormous<br />

community outcry about this – and<br />

understandably, and justifiably so,” he<br />

said. “That’s why over 12,000 people<br />

have signed Rory’s petition.<br />

“If you support an upgrade here, sign<br />

that petition and send a strong message<br />

to the Government.” – Nigel Wall<br />

*Join the petition; scan the QR code on<br />

page 16.<br />

PHOTO: NB Advocate<br />

10 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

News<br />

Laura’s monster wave record<br />

“I Narrabeen professional surfer<br />

knew it was the wave of my life,”<br />

says Laura Enever, the North<br />

who was awarded the Guinness Book of<br />

Records world record for the largest wave<br />

ever “paddled-in” by a female last month.<br />

She had spent around two hours near<br />

the shore, watching other Big Wave surfers<br />

getting smashed while she waited for<br />

a monster at Oahu’s Outer Reef off the<br />

Hawaiian coast.<br />

Video footage shows Enever paddling<br />

past a crowd of a dozen surfers. “When<br />

it came I was in the perfect spot,’’ she<br />

recalls.<br />

“When I took off I looked down the face<br />

and realised it was the biggest wave I had<br />

ever been on. That’s when I told myself I<br />

had to make it to the bottom. Focus. Hold<br />

on and ride this wave.”<br />

She said it felt like an eternity hurtling<br />

down the face in a near free-fall, before<br />

the 31-year-old was engulfed in a<br />

maelstrom of whitewash.<br />

“I looked up and saw the height of the<br />

wave coming down on me. It exploded on<br />

me. I was underwater getting thrashed<br />

around but I had a smile on my face.”<br />

She had survived, without injury –<br />

unlike one of her first Big Wave contests at<br />

Maui’s famous Jaws break when she had to<br />


Laura Enever with<br />

her record certificate<br />

at North Narrabeen.<br />

take herself home to the Northern Beaches<br />

to recuperate for six months.<br />

“My family and friends thought that<br />

would be the end of Big Wave surfing for<br />

me. But I couldn’t wait to get back.”<br />

At just 1.6 metres and of slim build,<br />

Laura isn’t the ideal body shape for<br />

tackling Big Waves. Most competitors –<br />

men and women – are taller and stronger.<br />

But, as Jessi Miley-Dyer, Chief of Sport<br />

of the World Surf League, put it: “Laura is<br />

fearless, committed, and a real inspiration.<br />

Athletes like Laura are pushing the<br />

boundaries of Big Wave surfing.”<br />

The first indication she might have<br />

broken the world record, set by Brazilian<br />

Andrea Moller at 12.8 metres in 2015, was<br />

when one of the videographers told her.<br />

“I got that on film. It might be a world<br />

record.”<br />

The paddle-in (most Big Wave surfers<br />

are towed by high-powered jet skis) was on<br />

Valentine’s Day <strong>2023</strong>, but it took the WSL<br />

scientific team months to authenticate.<br />

The scientists used a series of wave<br />

measuring techniques including video<br />

footage from several angles and Laura’s<br />

own height to gauge the distance from the<br />

trough to the crest of the monster.<br />

Ultimately they judged Laura had<br />

paddled-in on a 13.5-metre wave, beating<br />

Moller’s previous record.<br />

The world record was presented to<br />

Laura in front of family and friends at<br />

North Narrabeen.<br />

In the many interviews for global TV<br />

and the surfing press, she thanked Moller<br />

and the previous generation of female<br />

Big Wave surfers who had inspired her to<br />

get into the sport. “And I know the next<br />

generation of female big wave surfers are<br />

12 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

going to do the same.”<br />

Tributes for Laura and her achievement<br />

poured in, including from Layne Beachley,<br />

the Manly-based seven-time surfing world<br />

champion.<br />

“Any athlete who can paddle into<br />

a wave of that magnitude is pretty<br />

extraordinary,” Layne told the Sydney<br />

Morning Herald.<br />

The highest wave the multi world<br />

champion had ever been towed into was<br />

around 15.2 metres but she had only<br />

paddled-in to one that was less than five<br />

metres.<br />

Laura was 11 when she took up surfing<br />

at North Narrabeen. Her junior career was<br />

glittering. In 2008, she won the ISA World<br />

Junior gold medal and Rookie of the Year<br />

at the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing event.<br />

The following year she won the World<br />

Junior Championship.<br />

Her ambition was to follow Beachley,<br />

qualifying for the WSL Championship<br />

Tour. She consistently finished in the Top<br />

Ten and her elegant looks and fashion<br />

sense made her a prominent figure in the<br />

surfing magazines.<br />

However, in 2015, after seven years<br />

on the WSL Championship Tour, she<br />

announced she was switching to the WSL<br />

Big Wave events.<br />

“Friends and family thought I was mad,<br />

but it was what I wanted to do.”<br />

– Steve Meacham<br />

PHOTOS: WSL x 3<br />

WILD RIDE: Laura is captured taking off down the sheer drop; and before the whitewash hit.<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 13

Shock encounter had<br />

News<br />

As Jason Breen was<br />

being dragged by the<br />

humpback whale way<br />

below the surface to what<br />

seemed like his inevitable<br />

doom, the Newport-based<br />

wing foiler remembers<br />

thinking: “No-one would<br />

ever believe this!”<br />

A few seconds earlier,<br />

Jason had been enjoying<br />

the Southerly in Mona Vale<br />

basin, close to the beach.<br />

It was almost 11am on<br />

October 25 and he had just<br />

completed his first run of<br />

the morning out towards the<br />

open ocean, wallowing in the<br />

sunshine and near-perfect<br />

wind foiling conditions.<br />

He had just turned and<br />

was heading back to the<br />

wave area when suddenly<br />

an ominous shape appeared<br />

on the surface, about two<br />

metres to his right.<br />

“I knew it was a whale,<br />

not a shark, straight away,”<br />

the 55-year-old recalls.<br />

That didn’t make the<br />

close encounter any less<br />

dangerous.<br />

“It grew in size as it<br />

emerged from the water.”<br />

Within a second or two the<br />

breaching humpback was<br />

“above my head and I knew I<br />

was in trouble”.<br />

As it came crashing down<br />

onto Jason’s wind foil,<br />

“it hit my shoulder and<br />

chest”. That might not have<br />

been too bad, but Jason’s<br />

wing leash had got caught<br />

and as the giant mammal<br />

plunged to the depths, the<br />

Newport businessman was<br />

undergoing the initial stages<br />

of drowning.<br />

On the plus side, this<br />

humpback was probably a<br />

calf because its body wasn’t<br />

covered in razor-sharp<br />

barnacles – as many mother<br />

adults are – which would<br />

have resulted in Jason’s body<br />

being mutilated when it was<br />

found.<br />

Jason tells <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> he<br />

estimates he was dragged up<br />

MILLION-TO-ONE INCIDENT: Jason Breen knows he is lucky to be alive.<br />

to nine metres deep, his face<br />

slapping against the meatlike<br />

skin of the calf.<br />

Then, as suddenly as the<br />

humpback had appeared,<br />

it disappeared. Normally a<br />

wing foiler wouldn’t want<br />

the leash securing him<br />

to his craft to break. But<br />

he felt a pop as the wing<br />

leash snapped, allowing a<br />

breathless Jason to return to<br />

the safety of the surface.<br />

He feels he was dragged<br />

down for between 20 and<br />

30 seconds. His first words<br />

on getting to the surface<br />

– recorded by his Go-Pro –<br />

were “Shit! I just got hit by a<br />

whale!”<br />

Back on the wing foil,<br />

Jason discovered his<br />

Go-Pro had recorded the<br />

encounter. At the same<br />

time, Paul Nettelbeck – a<br />

Mona Vale local who was<br />

having a morning coffee at a<br />

headland cafe – had grabbed<br />

video footage of the incident<br />

on his phone.<br />

By evening the story had<br />

gone viral in print and on TV<br />

around Australia. However,<br />

the worldwide interest has<br />

been massive too: “I have<br />

been interviewed 50 times in<br />

12 different languages.”<br />

He emerged relatively<br />

unscathed, telling a New<br />

Zealand wind-surfing<br />

platform the next morning,<br />

“I’ve got a bit of whale<br />

14 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Jason in deep trouble<br />

CALF STRAIN: Jason’s Go-Pro recorded his collision with a breaching juvenile Humpback off Mona Vale; he was dragged underwater for 30 seconds.<br />

scale on my face, but I have<br />

lived to tell the tale. My<br />

equipment got busted up,<br />

but that is all replaceable”.<br />

Jason took up wind<br />

surfing at the height of<br />

its popularity in the early<br />

1980s, but switched to<br />

wing foiling three years<br />

ago. “I’m a team rider for a<br />

couple of brands and I run<br />

my business – Foil Sports<br />

Australia which I started<br />

around a year ago – from<br />

home.” He sells wings, foils,<br />

boards and accessories.<br />

“We’ve had so many<br />

mothers and calves<br />

swimming south along<br />

the coast this year,” he<br />

explained. “It’s been great to<br />

see. I just didn’t expect one<br />

to come so close.<br />

“That morning there were<br />

plenty of whales breaching<br />

out to sea, but they were 500<br />

metres to a kilometre away.<br />

“This one came straight<br />

up from the deep. It is very<br />

large ocean. The chances of<br />

this happening must be one<br />

million to one.<br />

“I don’t believe the whale<br />

had any feeling of malice<br />

or harm towards me. It may<br />

have thought the wing foil<br />

was a dolphin and wanted<br />

to play – but it didn’t stay<br />

around long enough for me<br />

to ask it!”<br />

Depending on wind<br />

conditions, Jason goes wing<br />

foiling up to three times a<br />

week: “In summer we get a<br />

lot of Nor’Easterlies.”<br />

And no, the whale incident<br />

hasn’t deterred him.<br />

– Steve Meacham<br />

*Tag: @jasonthejaw and<br />

Jason Breen for all content.<br />

Paul Nettelbeck’s footage is<br />

on YouTube.<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 15

News<br />

Recognition for brave rescue<br />

A<br />

collection of brave<br />

Avalon Beach Surf<br />

<strong>Life</strong>savers and local<br />

surfers received SLSA Meritorious<br />

Awards last month to<br />

recognise their rescue of an<br />

ABSLSC Surf <strong>Life</strong>saver who<br />

was brought back to life after<br />

drowning.<br />

Avalon Beach SLSC members<br />

Michael Stanley-Jones,<br />

Andrew Clark, Lucas Molloy<br />

and local surfers Stuart<br />

‘Stretch’ Cooper, Blaze Roberts<br />

and Karl Attkins carried<br />

out the rescue of Surf Club<br />

Trainer Mark Head, who suffered<br />

a freak accident in the<br />

surf at South Avalon just over<br />

a year ago.<br />

Club publicity officer Roger<br />

Sayers explained that September<br />

16, 2022, started as a routine<br />

Friday at Avalon Beach<br />

before quickly transforming<br />

into an extraordinary day.<br />

“Mark, Mike and Andrew<br />

had headed out for training<br />

on rescue boards,” he said.<br />

“Amidst the waves, an<br />

unexpected event unfolded;<br />

commotion on the south<br />

headland and frantic<br />

car horns attracted their<br />

attention.<br />

“At first they thought the<br />

noise was to warn them of<br />

a shark, so they returned<br />

to shore. But then Stuart<br />

Cooper – himself a former<br />

Avalon <strong>Life</strong>guard – ran down<br />

from the headland and yelled<br />

‘there’s a body out there’. “<br />

HONOURED: Karl Attkins, Mike Stanley-Jones, Blaze Roberts, Stuart<br />

Cooper, Andrew Clark and Lucas Molloy.<br />

Mike paddled back out; to<br />

his horror he discovered their<br />

mate Mark’s body floating<br />

under the water.<br />

Stuart and local big wave<br />

surfer Karl Attkins had also<br />

paddled out on rescue boards.<br />

“Stuart got Mark onto his<br />

board but the conditions<br />

required the combined effort<br />

of the trio, paddling together<br />

against the South Avalon rip<br />

to get Mark to the beach,”<br />

Roger continued.<br />

“Clarkie had run to the<br />

clubhouse to get oxygen and<br />

a defibrillator. Blaze assisted<br />

the team with first aid and<br />

CPR until paramedics arrived.”<br />

Mark Head had not been<br />

breathing for more than 40<br />

minutes, and everyone feared<br />

the worst. It was subsequently<br />

found that his lungs were<br />

100% full of water.<br />

“Mark’s journey to recovery<br />

has been remarkable,” said<br />

Roger. “He spent four days<br />

in an induced coma, with his<br />

strength and resilience leading<br />

to a gradual recovery.<br />

“He has no recollection of<br />

what caused the accident but<br />

collision of his head with the<br />

board or rocks has left him<br />

with significant injuries.<br />

“Despite this his brain is<br />

functioning perfectly and<br />

he suffered no brain damage<br />

from being face down on<br />

the water for approximately<br />

8 minutes and a further 40<br />

minutes of CPR, with no sign<br />

of life.”<br />

Mark’s message was simple:<br />

“My six rescuers finally got<br />

the recognition they so richly<br />

deserve.”<br />

Roger said the combined efforts<br />

of trained surf lifesavers<br />

and experienced local surfers<br />

all acting as a team was<br />

something the broader Avalon<br />

Beach community could be<br />

proud of.<br />

“Importantly, Mark does<br />

not want his accident to<br />

put anyone off enjoying the<br />

pleasures and health benefits<br />

of surfing, and joining a surf<br />

club,” he said.<br />

“On the contrary, the incident<br />

shows the importance<br />

of learning what to do to help<br />

someone in trouble in the<br />

surf, not to stop or give up<br />

on CPR despite the length of<br />

time, and to not give up on<br />

getting better afterward.”<br />

– Lisa Offord<br />

16 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Seat boundary squabble<br />

News<br />

The seat of Mackellar is under scrutiny<br />

from the Australian Electoral Commission,<br />

as the body determines<br />

which electorate in NSW will be scrapped<br />

before the next Federal election in 2025.<br />

The Northern Beaches seats of Mackellar<br />

and Warringah are among 35 of the<br />

state’s 47 federal election divisions that<br />

do not meet sufficient enrolment numbers.<br />

The Commission has asked community<br />

and political parties for their suggestions<br />

on changes to division boundaries that<br />

would better meet requirements.<br />

The feedback will help the Commission<br />

carve up existing electorates and cut one<br />

NSW seat altogether.<br />

Mackellar currently has 111,700 eligible<br />

voters; its enrolment in 2028 is projected<br />

to be 117,968 – more than 3.5 per cent<br />

under the required enrolment quota.<br />

Neighbouring Federal Independent<br />

MPs Dr Sophie Scamps (Mackellar) and<br />

Zali Steggall (Warringah) disagree about<br />

the best way to potentially redraw their<br />

electorates’ boundaries.<br />

In her submission on 10 November,<br />

Dr Scamps said there were “three commonsense<br />

solutions” to increasing the<br />

number of electors in Mackellar.<br />

“The most natural and simple… would<br />

be to extend our boundaries slightly to<br />

the south – to incorporate the remainder<br />

of Dee Why and North Curl Curl,” she<br />

wrote.<br />

“This would maintain the electorate’s<br />

Beaches culture and character, solve the<br />

problem of Dee Why being split between<br />

electorates and would create a well-defined<br />

boundary along Curl Curl Lagoon.”<br />

Dr Scamps added that if a further<br />

increase to elector numbers was required,<br />

the suburbs of Curl Curl and parts of<br />

Brookvale and Freshwater to the east of<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Rd could also be incorporated.<br />

She continued: “The suburbs of Narraweena<br />

and Beacon Hill are also currently<br />

split between federal electorates, so<br />

a [further additional] option would be to<br />

extend the boundary in this area south,<br />

so all of Narraweena and Beacon Hill fall<br />

within Mackellar.”<br />

However, fellow Independent Zali Steggall<br />

took aim at Dr Scamps’ plan.<br />

Ms Steggall wrote: “[It] proposes that the<br />

southern boundary of Mackellar expand<br />

southward within the LGA of the Northern<br />

Beaches Council, at the expense of<br />

the Division of Warringah, the only other<br />

Federal Division in the LGA.<br />

“This would result in a greater voter<br />

shortfall in Warringah and result in a<br />

greater westward movement of Warringah’s<br />

boundaries, significantly altering<br />

the character of the Division of Warringah<br />

MACKELLAR NOW: The current boundary.<br />

and further impacting the Division of<br />

North Sydney.”<br />

She said Dr Scamps’ suggestion focused<br />

on the “beaches character” of Mackellar;<br />

whilst noting its bushland expanses to<br />

the west, she said it did not acknowledge<br />

the significant “community connection<br />

westward” via the areas of Duffys Forest,<br />

Ingleside and Terrey Hills.<br />

“There is a clear land connection to<br />

the westward inland area with Mona Vale<br />

Road, a significant transport artery for<br />

public and private bus services, running<br />

directly from Mona Vale into the heart of<br />

St Ives,” Ms Steggall countered.<br />

The Liberal Party – NSW Division’s<br />

suggestion is that Mackellar remains a<br />

Northern Beaches division, with the seats<br />

of Warringah and North Sydney to be<br />

merged into a single division.<br />

Former Mackellar MP Jason Falinski<br />

noted several submissions to expand<br />

Mackellar included “some wild ideas that<br />

seem designed to increase particular<br />

electoral outcomes rather than improving<br />

the representation that our community<br />

should enjoy”.<br />

In his personal submission, Mr Falinski<br />

wrote: “The proposal to include Freshwater<br />

within Mackellar while maintaining<br />

the divide in the suburb of Frenchs Forest<br />

and Forestville and leaving the people<br />

of Killarney Heights isolated violates the<br />

principles contained in the [electoral]<br />

legislation.<br />

“The problem of adding Curl Curl and<br />

Freshwater to Mackellar is that it would<br />

cut the current Council ward in half, a<br />

point made by Zali Steggall.<br />

“People living in Curl Curl look toward<br />

Manly as a centre for shopping and work<br />

and transport, not Dee Why. The suburb<br />

of Dee Why is medium density the suburbs<br />

of North Curl Curl and Freshwater<br />

are typically detached housing... there is<br />

little commonality between the areas.<br />

“If you need to expand Mackellar it<br />

would make more sense to include the<br />

rest of Frenchs Forest suburb within<br />

Mackellar, which is currently cut in half.<br />

“This would also mean that almost<br />

three of the five wards of Northern<br />

Beaches Council would be encompassed<br />

within one Federal electorate rather than<br />

dividing two wards in Curl Curl and<br />

Frenchs Forest.”<br />

Members of the community who have<br />

made submissions include authors Michael<br />

Robotham and Dr Sarah Turnbull.<br />

You can read all submissions at aec.gov.au<br />

– Nigel Wall<br />

*What do you think? Tell us at readers@<br />

pittwaterlife.com.au<br />

18 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Council return boost<br />

Community group Protect <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

says it is encouraged at the prospects<br />

of a return to <strong>Pittwater</strong> Council local<br />

governance following the tabling of a<br />

Private Members Bill in NSW Parliament<br />

last month.<br />

Greens NSW Upper House member<br />

Dr Amanda Cohn introduced the<br />

Local Government Amendment (Deamalgamation<br />

Plebiscites) Bill <strong>2023</strong>,<br />

while referencing the concerns of<br />

individuals and groups within the<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> community, together with<br />

nine other disenfranchised NSW<br />

communities.<br />

Dr Cohn noted the recent closure<br />

of Northern Beaches Council’s Avalon<br />

Customer Service Centre was just one<br />

example of the reduction in services to<br />

the <strong>Pittwater</strong> community and echoed the<br />

concerns of many <strong>Pittwater</strong> residents in<br />

relation to local issues being ignored by<br />

the amalgamated council.<br />

Protect <strong>Pittwater</strong> President Simon<br />

Dunn joined representatives of Demerge<br />

NSW Alliance (DNA) to welcome<br />

the tabling of the ground-breaking<br />

legislation, calling it “the missing piece<br />

of the Local Government Act”.<br />

“For the first time NSW communities<br />

have a potential pathway for binding<br />

PUSH: Simon Dunn (left) with Dr Amanda Cohn<br />

(centre) and members of the Demerge NSW Alliance,<br />

including Cr Miranda Korzy (right).<br />

plebiscites to be held instead of the next<br />

scheduled local government elections in<br />

September 2024 and thereby provide a<br />

mechanism for true local government to<br />

be restored,” Mr Dunn said.<br />

“The people of <strong>Pittwater</strong> were<br />

overwhelming opposed to amalgamation<br />

of their successful Council and outraged<br />

that the decision to do so was made<br />

arbitrarily by the then Minister for Local<br />

Government.<br />

“This bill promises to take back the<br />

power to restore a Council from the desk<br />

of one minister and place it squarely in<br />

the hands of local communities, where<br />

democratically it must reside.”<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Greens Councillor Miranda<br />

Korzy, a founder of the Protect <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

demerger group, said: “The significance<br />

of this development for <strong>Pittwater</strong> is<br />

that it would create a clear pathway to a<br />

demerger via a plebiscite if passed into<br />

law.<br />

“The plebiscite would not force<br />

a demerger if the community<br />

voted against it, however it would<br />

automatically bind the government to<br />

re-establishing <strong>Pittwater</strong> as a standalone<br />

Council if the majority want it.<br />

“We would need to collect signatures<br />

from just over 10 per cent of electors<br />

from the former <strong>Pittwater</strong> Council area<br />

– whose total population was around<br />

60,000 at the time of the merger in 2016.<br />

This would be totally achievable.<br />

“It would then automatically trigger<br />

a plebiscite where residents vote for or<br />

against a demerger.”<br />

Cr Korzy called on <strong>Pittwater</strong> MP Rory<br />

Amon, who along with Dr Cohn cochairs<br />

the NSW Parliamentary Friends of<br />

Local Government, to advocate for the<br />

bill amongst his Liberal colleagues in<br />

Parliament.<br />

– Nigel Wall<br />

*What do you think? Tell us at readers@<br />

pittwaterlife.com.au<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 19

The Iceman Returns<br />

More than four decades after launching,<br />

Icehouse will perform at the Opera House<br />

this month to mark the 50th anniversary of<br />

Sydney’s grandest landmark. For band front<br />

man, Whale Beach’s Iva Davies, it’s a case of<br />

returning to his roots. Story by Daniel Williams<br />

News<br />

If Icehouse still being active<br />

surprises you, you’re not<br />

alone. Iva Davies can’t quite<br />

believe it either.<br />

When he co-founded the<br />

band as Flowers in 1977, his<br />

assumption around even<br />

the most successful musical<br />

groups was that they didn’t<br />

last long. “The last thing in my<br />

brain was the idea that I’d be<br />

talking to someone like you<br />

45 years later,” Davies says.<br />

“Everything’s been an amazing<br />

kind of surprise for me,<br />

the whole way along the line.”<br />

On 12 <strong>December</strong>, Davies<br />

will take to the stage in the<br />

Opera House forecourt as an<br />

evergreen 68-year-old grand<br />

master of Australian music,<br />

the creative force behind the<br />

anthemic ‘Great Southern<br />

Land’, the leader of a band<br />

that’s achieved both critical<br />

acclaim and huge popular<br />

appeal, all the while evolving<br />

in ways that help to explain its<br />

longevity.<br />

That Icehouse will perform<br />

against the backdrop of the<br />

Great White Shells is apt in<br />

more ways than one. Before<br />

he played nasty guitar for<br />

Flowers, Davies played bright,<br />

robust oboe at the Sydney<br />

Conservatorium of Music.<br />

In the winter of 1973, aged<br />

18, he was part of the hybrid<br />

orchestra that performed the<br />

first two operas to be staged at<br />

the Opera House, which before<br />

long would host era-defining<br />

rock concerts, such as the 2SM<br />

Concert of the Decade in November<br />

1979 and the Crowded<br />

House farewell concert of<br />

November 1996.<br />

Coincidentally, Opera House<br />

architect Jørn Utzon lived for<br />

a time at Palm Beach while his<br />

masterpiece was being built –<br />

a short stroll from the house<br />

in Whale Beach that Davies<br />

has called home for the past<br />

34 years.<br />

Davies’ oboe is a key<br />

artefact of Icehouse history.<br />

The Wauchope-born boy with<br />

Welsh roots had envisaged<br />

a career in classical music<br />

until a Lane Cove instrument<br />

repairer “wrecked my Frenchmade<br />

oboe and basically put<br />

me out of commission,” he<br />

says. “It was a case of the gods<br />

conspiring to turn me into<br />

something besides an oboist.”<br />

PHOTO: Tim Buckley<br />

20 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

LINK: Iva Davies performed at the Opera House a<br />

few months before the building was opened; he’ll<br />

now play a special 50th Anniversary concert there<br />

with Icehouse in <strong>December</strong>.<br />

50 YEARS AGO: The Opera House was wrapped<br />

in red streamers for its opening ceremony in<br />

November 1973.<br />

EARLY DAYS: With first band Flowers in 1980.<br />

That something was a cocreator<br />

(with bassist Keith<br />

Welsh) of an intriguing new<br />

band that played what veteran<br />

music writer Toby Creswell<br />

called “an eclectic set of glamrock<br />

cover versions and Sex<br />

Pistols-style punk with rare<br />

intensity”.<br />

If you’ve ever heard Davies<br />

being interviewed, you’ll know<br />

he’s among the more articulate<br />

and urbane rock stars ever<br />

to plug into an amp. Which<br />

prompts <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> to ask<br />

whether Flowers/Icehouse were<br />

ever a wild band. Davies responds<br />

with a story from their<br />

infancy about playing for a<br />

pittance in a corner of the Time<br />

and Tide Hotel in Dee Why.<br />

As Davies tells it, they<br />

played the Time and Tide<br />

every Friday night for months<br />

and had the place heaving,<br />

but the miserly pub manager<br />

never raised their pay or even<br />

offered them free drinks, so<br />

finally the band negotiated a<br />

better deal at the Royal Antler<br />

in Narrabeen. “In our last<br />

show [at the Time and Tide],<br />

it came time to finish, and we<br />

just kept playing,” Davies says.<br />

“The manager started freaking<br />

out and pulling leads out of<br />

the wall, and we kept putting<br />

them back in. The crowd got<br />

wind of what was happening<br />

and there was a proper riot. It<br />

was on for young and old. The<br />

police turned up en masse and<br />

we fled.”<br />

Icehouse went on to sell<br />

nearly 1.4 million albums in<br />

Australia. By 1993, however,<br />

their fortunes were waning,<br />

while Davies had become a<br />

father and was determined to<br />

be a good one. The band took<br />

a spell that lasted until March<br />

2009, when it regrouped to<br />

grace Sound Relief, the concerts<br />

held simultaneously in<br />

Sydney and Melbourne to aid<br />

PHOTO: National Film & Sound Archive<br />

victims of the Victorian bushfires<br />

and Queensland floods.<br />

Davies will never forget that<br />

night: it was the first time his<br />

children, Brynn and Evan –<br />

young teens at the time – had<br />

seen him perform. And they<br />

were flabbergasted.<br />

“Until then, neither of my<br />

kids really had a clue about<br />

what I did,” Davies says. “They<br />

came along to Sound Relief<br />

and there I was at the SCG<br />

performing in front of 40,000<br />

people, and the look on their<br />

faces when they got backstage<br />

was priceless. Utter shock.”<br />

Reinvigorated, Icehouse<br />

have been performing ever<br />

since. Last year, they toured<br />

Queensland and NSW to<br />

celebrate 40 years of ‘Great<br />

Southern Land’.<br />

So, what can fans expect<br />

from the band at the upcoming<br />

Opera House concert? To<br />

be thrilled? Inspired? Stimulated?<br />

Educated?<br />

“All of the above,” says<br />

Davies, who says he’s too<br />

busy these days preparing for<br />

shows to dwell on the past or<br />

worry about getting older. He’s<br />

happy, he says. Loves what<br />

he does – and where he lives.<br />

“I can literally sit where I am<br />

right now, talking to you, and<br />

watch whales,” he says. “Virtually<br />

every room in the house<br />

has a view of the ocean.”<br />

A case of a giant of Australian<br />

music admiring the giants<br />

of the sea.<br />

*Icehouse will perform in the<br />

Opera House forecourt on 12<br />

<strong>December</strong>. For ticket information,<br />

visit livenation.com.au<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 21

News<br />

Pledge to end forest logging<br />

Mackellar Independent MP Dr Sophie Scamps is pushing to<br />

end industrial-scale native forestry, sponsoring a pledge<br />

which calls on the federal and state governments to work together<br />

towards a total national ban.<br />

Explaining her lead, Dr Scamps said that in October, the NSW<br />

Environmental Protection Agency discovered an endangered<br />

greater glider dead in an area of the<br />

Tallaganda Forest, located west of<br />

the ACT, being logged.<br />

“This tragedy highlighted the<br />

threat that logging in native forests<br />

poses for our unique fauna,” she<br />

said. “An estimated 50 million trees<br />

are bulldozed in Australia each<br />

year, leading to the deaths of over<br />

70 million native animals due to<br />

deforestation across Australia.”<br />

Dr Scamps said that while a total<br />

ban seemed a radical call, just over<br />

two years ago, Australia – along<br />


THE WAY:<br />

Dr Scamps.<br />

with more than 100 other countries – signed an agreement<br />

called the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land<br />

Use at COP26 to end deforestation by 2030.<br />

“Victoria and Western Australia are already going down<br />

this path. Logging of native forests in these states will end in<br />

<strong>December</strong>,” she said. “But it continues in NSW, Tasmania and<br />

Queensland.<br />

“Native forests are home to some of Australia’s most iconic<br />

species – koalas, gliders as well as countless other birds, mammals<br />

and reptiles.<br />

“But if Australia continues to log our native forests at the<br />

current rate, these animals may become extinct in the wild<br />

during our lifetime.<br />

“How will I look my children in the eye when koalas have<br />

been wiped out in my home state NSW – which a NSW parliamentary<br />

inquiry found could occur as soon as 2050?”<br />

She said logging of native forests not only threatened our native<br />

species but also contributed to<br />

climate change.<br />

Plus, native forest logging was<br />

lossmaking and relied on taxpayer<br />

subsidies.<br />

“In NSW we are subsidising the<br />

destruction of our forests,” she<br />

said. “While some of the logs ends<br />

up as floorboards, much ends up in<br />

low-value uses such as woodchips<br />

and tomato stakes.”<br />

Dr Scamps said plantation forestry<br />

was more lucrative and a better<br />

way to produce needed timbers,<br />

especially for housing.<br />

“Of course, there needs to be well thought through plans<br />

to assist timber workers and communities to adapt to other<br />

related roles including plantation work and tourism.”<br />

Dr Scamps’ pledge has garnered 30 scientists’ signatures and<br />

has the support of federal Independents Monique Ryan and<br />

David Pocock, most Greens politicians and State Wakehurst MP<br />

Michael Regan.<br />

“It’s now time for the serving politicians in the major parties<br />

to act,” she said.<br />

– Nigel Wall<br />

*More info the forestpledge.com.au or scan the code on page 31.<br />

22 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

6THINGS<br />


Post deadlines. If you want<br />

your Christmas gifts delivered by<br />

Australia Post on time, you’ll need<br />

to get cracking. If sending parcels<br />

overseas the deadline for most<br />

countries is the first week of Dec.<br />

The last day for parcel post within<br />

Australia is Mon 18 and Express<br />

Post is Thurs 21.<br />

Disability support. People with<br />

disability, their families and carers<br />

can find out about the different<br />

support options that are available<br />

through Services Australia at this<br />

free info session on Wed 6 from<br />

2pm-4pm at Mona Vale Library.<br />

Bookings essential through at<br />

the library or through Council’s<br />

website.<br />

Sun Run discount. Thinking<br />

about participating in next year’s<br />

Sun Run? You can wipe $20 off the<br />

entry fee by being an early bird and<br />

registering online before Thurs 7.<br />

Seaside edibles. Did you know<br />

that every type of seaweed in<br />

Australia is edible? Join the<br />

Permaculture Northern Beaches<br />

crew and expert forager Diego<br />

Bonetto for a 2.5-hour workshop<br />

where you’ll learn the what, where<br />

and how of collecting a meal from<br />

the seashore at Turrimetta Beach<br />

on Sun 10 from 10am. More info,<br />

costs and info on how to book on<br />

PNB website.<br />

Christmas show. Bringing to<br />

life all your favourite Christmas<br />

classics including songs by Bing<br />

Crosby, The Drifters, Michael<br />

Buble and Frankie Valli, ‘The<br />

Vallies’ present a vibrant allsinging,<br />

all-dancing show to get<br />

you into the Christmas spirit at<br />

Glen Street Theatre on Mon 18.<br />

From 11am. Tickets start at $25.<br />

NYE Fireworks. Forget travelling<br />

into the city. The annual Bayview<br />

fireworks (for 15 minutes from 9pm<br />

and then again at midnight) are<br />

presented every year (weather<br />

permitting) by local businesses<br />

with support from Council. To<br />

comply with fireworks safety rules,<br />

Rowland Reserve will be closed;<br />

however families can still enjoy the<br />

show from local clubs and multiple<br />

outdoor vantage points around the<br />

area. There’s a map on Council’s<br />

website if you need it.<br />

Bright ‘Sparks’ fly at Tank event<br />

tech-driven solution that<br />

A could one day power the<br />

world was one of the visionary<br />

winners at the fourth annual<br />

Spark Tank youth business<br />

pitch event held at <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

RSL in October.<br />

The event, run by non-profit<br />

organisation Share the Spark<br />

which focuses on empowering<br />

young people to make lifeaffirming<br />

choices, is similar<br />

to the TV show ‘Shark Tank’<br />

– “Just with smaller prizes<br />

and much kinder judges”, said<br />

founding director Kimberly<br />

Clouthier.<br />

This year five teams, selected<br />

from a pool of 37 promising<br />

young entrepreneurs, took centre<br />

stage to compete for a share<br />

of $15,200 in cash and prizes.<br />

Additionally, each winning<br />

team has received six months’<br />

business coaching to further<br />

develop their innovative<br />

concepts and entrepreneurial<br />

skills.<br />

Leading the way were ‘Watergate<br />

Labs’ – brothers, Benjamin<br />

(16) and Oliver (18) who<br />

invented a ‘Nitro Net’ device<br />

that can create electricity from<br />

the humidity in the air and<br />

displayed their working prototype<br />

at the event. They won<br />

$2,000 cash, a $3,000 branding<br />

package, and six months of<br />

business coaching.<br />

Other winners were: ‘Wet<br />

Dry Wipes’ – friends Georgia,<br />

Ivy, Giselle and Alice (all 12),<br />

who revealed their Wet/Dry<br />

wipe prototype (reusable with<br />

fresh scents and fun emojis);<br />

‘Disability Support Pillow’ –<br />

Sahara (15) presented for two<br />

as her partner Austin (15)<br />

was in hospital. She shared<br />

their idea for a customisable<br />

pillow that offered people<br />

who face physical challenges<br />

more comfort; ‘Soap On The<br />

Go’ – Willow, Libby, Sadie and<br />


Nitro Net<br />

on show.<br />

Livia (all 10), joined up to help<br />

us keep clean anywhere with<br />

their idea for portable, dissolvable,<br />

no-water-needed soap in<br />

a convenient tiny dispenser<br />

(ideal for travel); and ‘We Love<br />

Dogs Rescue’ – Cade (12), Oisin<br />

(12), and Alexander (12) were<br />

inspired by Scarlet, their rescue<br />

dog, to develop a central<br />

website that matches dogs in<br />

pounds to their new potential<br />

owners.<br />

– Nigel Wall<br />

*Share the Spark provides<br />

free ongoing micro-mentoring<br />

programs that match young<br />

people up with professionals,<br />

usually in their work environment.<br />

Youth 8 – 23, who feel<br />

they would benefit can sign<br />

up; visit sharethespark.org.au<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 23

News<br />

Govt plan for Parkway safety upgrade<br />

Northern Beaches Council<br />

is working feverishly to<br />

co-ordinate its proposed flood<br />

mitigation works along the<br />

Wakehurst Parkway following<br />

the tabling of the NSW Government’s<br />

plan for proposed<br />

safety upgrades between Narrabeen<br />

and Frenchs Forest.<br />

Transport for NSW has<br />

released its Review of Environmental<br />

Factors (REF) for the<br />

improvements, with submissions<br />

from community open<br />

until <strong>December</strong> 6.<br />

Having weighed up the<br />

ecological and social impacts<br />

with the projected benefit to<br />

community, the Government’s<br />

REF recommends proceeding<br />

to construction, effective next<br />

year.<br />

There would be no change<br />

to the current flood risk as a<br />

result of the proposal.<br />

The safety upgrades comprise<br />

$150 million in funding<br />

for key blackspots along the<br />

road. They were first pledged<br />

by the former NSW Liberal<br />

and Federal Coalition governments<br />

($75 million each) in<br />

TWO LANES:<br />

Southbound from<br />

Oxford Falls Road to<br />

Frenchs Forest Road.<br />

the lead-up to the 2022 Federal<br />

election.<br />

Since their respective<br />

election wins, the Albanese<br />

Government and Minns<br />

Government have upheld the<br />

commitment.<br />

If the State upgrade is triggered,<br />

Council staff say it is<br />

imperative their own longmooted<br />

flood mitigation works<br />

along the Parkway – at Oxford<br />

Falls, the Bends and Narrabeen<br />

Sports Academy – be determined<br />

for possible approval<br />

and if approved, scheduled to<br />

co-ordinate with the Transport<br />

for NSW works.<br />

This is to try to avoid commencing<br />

their works after the<br />

completion of the projected<br />

two-year safety upgrade,<br />

which would create further<br />

disruption to motorists.<br />

Council staff say they are<br />

also liaising with Transport<br />

for NSW to determine which<br />

works might be conducted in<br />

unison, so co-ordination on<br />

materials and design can be<br />

maximised.<br />

The proposed mitigation<br />

works have been funded to<br />

the tune of $31 million, with<br />

$5 in Council’s bank account<br />

and the balance pledged by<br />

the Minns Government. A first<br />

funding offer of $18 million<br />

was tabled in 2017 by the former<br />

NSW Liberal Government<br />

in 2017. NSW Labor topped<br />

up the funding after it was<br />

elected in March <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

A key component of the<br />

blackspot upgrade is the proposed<br />

widening of the southbound<br />

carriageway between<br />

Oxford Falls Road and Frenchs<br />

Forest Road to create dual<br />

lanes (new works extending to<br />

the start of the existing two<br />

lanes at Trefoil Creek).<br />

Other improvements<br />

include a new southbound<br />

right-turn at Oxford Falls<br />

Road; a new southbound leftturn<br />

lane into Dreadnought<br />

Road; plus new bus stops for<br />

northbound and southbound<br />

travel at the Dreadnought<br />

Road intersection.<br />

Safety improvements are<br />

also planned for Elanora Road<br />

and Mirrool Street.<br />

It’s proposed to move the<br />

give-way lines forward at<br />

Elanora Road to improve visibility,<br />

while concept plans<br />

show provision for a concrete<br />

median at the intersection.<br />

It’s not known if the current<br />

slip-road that holds turned<br />

26 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

traffic waiting to merge will<br />

be retained.<br />

At Mirrool Street, it’s proposed<br />

that the southbound<br />

shoulder be widened to<br />

provide sufficient space for<br />

the flow of traffic to bypass<br />

right-turning vehicles.<br />

In its REF, Transport for<br />

NSW notes traffic along the<br />

Parkway is currently performing<br />

at an unsatisfactory Level<br />

of Service during the morning<br />

and afternoon peak times.<br />

Transport for NSW’s traffic<br />

modelling projects a one per<br />

cent increase in average weekday<br />

traffic volumes within 12<br />

months (2026) – with a rapid<br />

escalation to a 12 per cent<br />

increase on current volumes<br />

by 2046.<br />

The government notes some<br />

impacts to traffic flow within<br />

the proposal area may occur<br />

during the construction phase<br />

due to an increase in light and<br />

heavy vehicles.<br />

Roads within the proposal<br />

area would remain open during<br />

the construction period;<br />

however partial road closures<br />

would be required.<br />

Justifying its decision to<br />

proceed (subject to community<br />

feedback), Transport<br />

for NSW said the proposed<br />

improvements would reduce<br />

delays and improve safety for<br />

motorists.<br />

It noted “an extensive crash<br />

history” along Wakehurst<br />

Parkway, and at Wakehurst<br />

Parkway and Dreadnought<br />

Road intersection there is<br />

existing poor levels of service<br />

and capacity constraints.<br />

Further, at the intersections<br />

of Wakehurst Parkway and<br />

Elanora Road, and Wakehurst<br />

Parkway and Mirrool Street,<br />

it noted existing line of sight<br />

constraints and safety concerns<br />

for cars entering Wakehurst<br />

Parkway from side streets.<br />

“This REF assessed the proposal<br />

against the ‘do nothing’<br />

option, and it was assessed<br />

that the proposal’s benefits, of<br />

easing traffic congestion and<br />

improving safety, justify the potential<br />

impacts,” it concluded.<br />

Residents can view the REF<br />

at transport.nsw.gov.au/wakehurst<br />

and lodge submissions<br />

(by <strong>December</strong> 6) by emailing<br />

northplace@transport.nsw.<br />

gov.au<br />

– Nigel Wall<br />

*What do you think? Tell us at<br />

readers@pittwaterlife.com.au<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 27

The Mona murals<br />

colouring our world<br />

News<br />

With ‘Midnight Dream’ by<br />

David Cragg in Bungan Lane,<br />

‘Memories of Mona Vale’ by<br />

Gus Eagleton at the Memorial Hall, and<br />

now Sofles’ ‘Mona Vale Village Green’,<br />

bustling Mona Vale is becoming the<br />

mural capital of the Northern Beaches.<br />

Midnight Dream by David Cragg was<br />

funded in 2020 by the Crime Prevention<br />

Division of NSW, with an aim to reduce<br />

levels of damage to public spaces in the<br />

Mona Vale area.<br />

The strikingly beautiful mural that<br />

David created was a celebration of the<br />

diverse nature of local flora and fauna.<br />

It has been well-received by most locals,<br />

although there has been a ripple of<br />

dissent from some folk concerned about<br />

it defacing brickwork.<br />

Nevertheless, Council reports it and the<br />

other grant-funded art have resulted in<br />

reduced graffiti and tagging around the<br />

Bungan Lane area in which it is situated.<br />

Artist Gus Eagleton has added to the<br />

local artistic landscape with his work<br />

‘Memories of Mona Vale’. Gus won the<br />

tender due to his idea for the image, his<br />

depth of portfolio, but also his ability to<br />

paint on difficult surfaces.<br />

“It was a tricky job to do because of<br />

the bricks and their texture, the layout<br />

of the building and the multiple sorts of<br />

surfaces involved,” explains Gus. “It took<br />

two weeks to do and there were a few<br />

hiccups along the way. The surface made<br />

it a very hard job to do.<br />

“My style is a realistic one, and I think<br />

that appealed to the Council,” says<br />

Gus. “I’ve captured the heritage of the<br />

area, the people and the lifestyle. It’s<br />

added colour and depth and hopefully<br />

it will detract people from tagging and<br />

vandalism.”<br />

A contemporary view of Mona<br />

Vale, the mural ranges from abstract<br />

interpretations of heritage-listed<br />

buildings such as Brock Follys Mansion<br />

and the Rock Lily Hotel, to the shaping<br />

of Mona Vale’s unpretentious beachside<br />

culture and the characters who inhabit<br />

the area.<br />

“I’ve had lots of good feedback from<br />

locals,” reveals Gus, “and some who saw<br />

me painting have asked me to do private<br />

jobs for their homes and businesses. So<br />

hopefully I’ll be back in the area soon!”<br />

The mural artists were paired up with<br />

youth assistants during the process.<br />

Council explained it partnered with<br />

local organisations in the Northern<br />

PHOTO: Kat Adamski<br />

Beaches Youth Interagency (NBYI), such<br />

as Streetwork and the Avalon Youth Hub,<br />

to help young people actively participate<br />

in community programs, activities,<br />

events and opportunities including mural<br />

projects related to graffiti management.<br />

Council says this particular<br />

partnership helps empower young<br />

people through mural installations,<br />

skill development, and community<br />

engagement, and complements the<br />

street-art workshops for at-risk youth<br />

that the organisations also run.<br />

Also, this opportunity enabled<br />

local emerging artists to be mentored<br />

by professional artists, gaining new<br />

skills and greater connection to the<br />

community.<br />

One of the youth assistants, Lola from<br />

Forestville, said: “It was very creative and<br />

made me feel accepted an engaged.”<br />

The striking bird mural at Mona Vale<br />

Green marked street artist Sofles’ first<br />

visit and contribution to the area.<br />

Shaun Hossack of Juddy Roller<br />

represents many street artists and has<br />

been involved in more than 1000 murals<br />

across Australia. Sofles, from his stable,<br />

has more than 355 thousand followers<br />

on Instagram and Shaun is constantly<br />

fielding questions about him. Including<br />

from this correspondent!<br />

“He’s a Brisbane boy who has become a<br />

bit of a celebrity in the street art world and<br />

he travels far and wide,” says Shaun, “he<br />

has a huge following on social media and<br />

some of his videos have gone viral on a<br />

global scale, getting up to 13 million hits.<br />

“He’s known for his realistic but<br />

futuristic style and the speed with which<br />

he paints using spray cans.”<br />

This is the first time Sofles – or Shaun<br />

– have undertaken a project on the<br />

28 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991


Sofles (left) with assistant<br />

Finn in front of his new<br />

mural within Mona Vale’s<br />

Village Park precinct.<br />

THIS PAGE:<br />

Gus Eagleton’s ‘Memories<br />

of Mona Vale’ references<br />

the suburb’s heritage.<br />

BELOW:<br />

Sofles’ striking Robin<br />

artwork.<br />

Northern Beaches.<br />

“My partner lives at Clareville,” reveals<br />

Shaun, “so it’s really nice to bring<br />

something to the area. Hopefully people<br />

recognize the great job he’s done – a<br />

focus on local flora and fauna, with his<br />

own spin.”<br />

Obviously an advocate for the craft,<br />

Shaun thinks people will love the end<br />

result.<br />

“I’ve witnessed the transformative<br />

nature of street art over the past decade<br />

and it really brings something to the<br />

community.<br />

“I really think Sofles has done that<br />

with this mural and it adds to the colour<br />

of Mona Vale.”<br />

– Rob Pegley<br />

*What do you think? Tell us at readers@<br />

pittwaterlife.com.au<br />

PHOTO: Kat Adamski<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 29

News<br />

Oscar’s building to big things<br />

Local apprentice boat builder Oscar<br />

innovative solutions that promote<br />

Press is bound for Europe in 2024 to<br />

eco-friendly practices,” he said. “I truly<br />

further his passion for sustainability<br />

in the industry after winning a Global<br />

Footprint Scholarship.<br />

Oscar, 21, is in his fourth year and<br />

apprenticed with Rowell Marine at<br />

Newport, which has a deep connection<br />

with boating and <strong>Pittwater</strong> dating back<br />

more than 50 years.<br />

Oscar said it was a dream to have had<br />

the opportunity to work on quality timber<br />

boats including the impressive Palm<br />

Beach line of motor cruisers.<br />

For Oscar, the scholarship means he<br />

will be able to travel overseas in the middle<br />

believe this is something we need to start<br />

doing better especially in my line of work.<br />

“This scholarship will allow me to<br />

grow personally while making a positive<br />

impact on the environment through<br />

sustainable practices learned abroad.”<br />

He explained that at Rowell’s, he<br />

worked with timber the majority of the<br />

time.<br />

“I find myself truly lucky to<br />

be doing this work as not only is<br />

timber a renewable resource that<br />

can be sustainably harvested but the<br />

craftsmanship and attention to detail<br />

of 2024 once he has completed his<br />

required in building timber boats<br />

PASSIONATE: Oscar Press.<br />

apprenticeship. His goal is to gain invaluable<br />

are unparalleled,” he said. “I am very<br />

experience as an intern with a timber<br />

boat building business in Scandinavia,<br />

France, Portugal, Spain or Italy.<br />

Oscar Rowell, of Rowell Marine<br />

Shipwrights, said Oscar Press was one of<br />

five shipwright apprentices the business<br />

employed.<br />

“He has been working for me for<br />

four years and has always been very<br />

enthusiastic and passionate about the<br />

trade and our industry,” Rowell said.<br />

to improve and modernise boat building.<br />

“The boating industry needs more<br />

people like Oscar to ensure the future<br />

of the boat building here in Australia<br />

continues to grow and move in the right<br />

direction.”<br />

Oscar Press, whose leisure pursuits<br />

include bushwalking and riding single-fin<br />

surfboards, said moving overseas and<br />

working towards sustainability in boat<br />

building was a dream.<br />

passionate about my work.<br />

“I love taking on a job that I did not<br />

think I could do at the start, and then,<br />

weeks later, look at it knowing ‘I just<br />

made that’.<br />

“Although my main work is timber<br />

there are times we will use other<br />

materials and, unfortunately, it is not<br />

the most sustainable trade. I like to take<br />

pride in myself for continually trying to<br />

implement ways to help make the job<br />

“I see a bright future for Oscar… he is “As our planet faces environmental more eco-friendly.”<br />

– Nigel Wall<br />

always thinking of new innovative ideas challenges, it is imperative to find<br />

*More info visit bia.org.au<br />

30 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

$2m Scotland Island upgrade<br />

Scotland Island’s stressed road and drainage<br />

network is set for a $2 million upgrade<br />

courtesy of a grant from the NSW and Federal<br />

governments.<br />

Confirming the funds, Northern Beaches<br />

Mayor Sue Heins said the support was welcome<br />

news to Council and the Scotland Island<br />

community.<br />

“The devastating storm<br />

and flood events of 2021 and<br />

2022 left many communities<br />

across the state with extensive<br />

damage and a massive<br />

repair bill and the Northern<br />

Beaches was no exception,”<br />

Mayor Heins said.<br />

“Scotland Island is one<br />

location where we are continuing<br />

repair works, with<br />

a significant program to rebuild the road and<br />

drainage network.<br />

“We thank the Australian Government<br />

and NSW Government for their support as<br />

we rebuild vital infrastructure and make our<br />

communities more resilient to future natural<br />

disasters.”<br />

The $2 million grant was awarded through<br />

the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery<br />

Funding Arrangements and is delivered<br />

through the Infrastructure Betterment Fund.<br />

The Infrastructure Betterment Fund is<br />

ROADS REBUILD: Scotland Island.<br />

focused on building back essential public<br />

assets including roads and drainage networks<br />

impacted by the storm and flood events of<br />

2021 and 2022.<br />

Mayor Heins said the funding would assist<br />

Council in meeting the high cost of improving<br />

road infrastructure on the island, making<br />

it less susceptible to the<br />

impacts of storm events.<br />

“By rebuilding roads and<br />

drainage systems back to<br />

a higher standard, we are<br />

better prepared for future<br />

disasters, and can keep<br />

communities connected,<br />

reduce the amount of<br />

hardship they experience,<br />

as well as avoid future reconstruction<br />

costs during<br />

and after a disaster event,” Mayor Heins said.<br />

Council engineers are currently working<br />

on redefining the scope of work to match the<br />

grant funding.<br />

Council said it intended to add this latest<br />

betterment funding to the funding already<br />

received for storm damage repairs, to build<br />

greater resilience into the road infrastructure<br />

on the island and reduce the high cost of<br />

ongoing road maintenance in this offshore<br />

community.<br />

– Nigel Wall<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 31

The Way We Were<br />

Every month we pore over three decades of <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong>, providing a<br />

snapshot of the area’s recent history – and confirming that quite often the more things<br />

change, the more they stay the same! Compiled by Lisa Offord<br />

25 Years Ago…<br />

The bumper magazine celebrated all things Christmas; festive<br />

food and dining, where to find Carols, Santa and special<br />

events plus a bonus shopping feature supported by local<br />

small businesses. Meanwhile, <strong>Pittwater</strong> Council was preparing<br />

“to place a further hindrance to traffic in Old Barrenjoey Road<br />

near Kamikaze Corner. A large roundabout has been drawn<br />

on the roadway, along with shoulder bumps which in turn will<br />

make the carriageway extremely narrow. Already there have<br />

been complaints from Avalon residents and users of the road<br />

that the planned obstruction will make it difficult for larger<br />

vehicles to navigate.” There was a debate over the booking of<br />

motorists for parking illegally in <strong>Pittwater</strong>; preparations were<br />

being made for the <strong>Pittwater</strong> to Coffs Harbour yacht race;<br />

and Whale Beach SLSC’s Rob Berry was gearing up to mark 25<br />

years since the first Big Swim. It is, Rob said, “the swim that<br />

started the other swims… and still the greatest”.<br />

15 Years Ago…<br />

The Way We Were<br />

Capital works of more than $3million “As a result, <strong>Pittwater</strong> Council has again<br />

were put on hold by <strong>Pittwater</strong> Council temporarily closed the sand area at the<br />

following a shortfall in Section 94 and Winnererremy Bay playground at Mona<br />

grant funding from the then State Vale – the remainder of the playground<br />

Government. “The shortfall is directly which has been replaced with bark<br />

related to the current financial crisis remains open and infection-free.”<br />

which has seen new developments Further tests had also been carried out<br />

grind to a halt curtailing the Section 94<br />

at closed playgrounds at Katoa Close in<br />

funds used as a charge on developers<br />

Warriewood, Hitchcock Park at Avalon,<br />

to pay for public infrastructure,” we<br />

South Avalon Beach, and Governor<br />

explained. The shortfall was revealed<br />

Phillip Park at Palm Beach. Sand was<br />

as “<strong>Pittwater</strong> Council received a Federal<br />

removed from these parks earlier in<br />

Government grant of only $256,000”<br />

the year and the latest round of testing<br />

with the bulk of the $300 million of<br />

government funding directed towards<br />

had come back negative... “The original<br />

Labor Councils or councils in the<br />

sand in the playground at south Avalon<br />

Labor and marginal<br />

was left undisturbed<br />

electorates. The<br />

since May and is still<br />

three Northern<br />

testing positive.” Council<br />

Beaches councils<br />

was working with<br />

received “… only<br />

government agencies,<br />

$951,000 between<br />

Taronga Zoo and the<br />

them”. Meanwhile,<br />

University of Sydney The cover image was the cookbook ‘Beyond<br />

Council was<br />

to solve the problem. the Bends – Barrenjoey’s Best Bites’ compiled<br />

“closely monitoring<br />

Entries were rolling in with input from students and teachers of<br />

the future of<br />

for the 29th <strong>Pittwater</strong> Barrenjoey High School. Our story in the<br />

childcare services<br />

to Coffs Harbour race November 2018 issue about the bureaucratic<br />

in the area” after<br />

in 2009; The Sydney delays in progressing the proposal for an<br />

the collapse of two<br />

Design School opened off-leash dog trial at Station Beach “struck<br />

large operators.<br />

its doors with the a chord, with Northern Beaches Council<br />

“There is a major<br />

school’s director local<br />

announcing a consultation period for<br />

undersupply of<br />

comment. The proposed trial is for a 12-month<br />

Amanda Grace saying<br />

spaces for children<br />

period in 2019…” The successful tenderer<br />

it was the first of<br />

in the 3–5-year-old<br />

for the $140m Mona Vale Road upgrade<br />

its type established<br />

group and more<br />

was announced, with works to commence<br />

in Sydney’s north<br />

particularly in the<br />

in February with a 2022 completion date.<br />

giving residents of the Northern<br />

0–2-year-old groups” … however, with<br />

Readers learned the plans for 3500 dwellings<br />

several Development Applications<br />

Beaches and North Shore access to<br />

at Ingleside would not proceed after an<br />

either approved or before council,<br />

quality training. Readers were told independent bushfire risk assessment<br />

“there could be more spaces becoming “not to expect a dog swimming area found the 2016 draft plan would put<br />

available in the new year.” In other at Station Beach on the <strong>Pittwater</strong> side future residents in danger. The “faithfully<br />

news, testing of the sand replaced of Palm Beach this holiday. It’s been reimagined Barrenjoey House” was unveiled;<br />

in the Children’s playground at<br />

two years since the Council started the we ran stories about the annual sporting<br />

Winnererremy Bay had detected<br />

process to have a trial and there has events the Battle of the Bends and the Ocean<br />

a recurrence of the Salmonella<br />

been much too-ing and fro-ing between Swim Series, Janelle Bloom shared Christmas<br />

bacterium that was linked to a local the State Government, the Council and cooking tips and our <strong>Life</strong> Stories subject was<br />

community outbreak earlier in 2008. consultants who are yet to report.”<br />

the remarkable Dr Elisabeth Kirkby OAM.<br />

32 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

5 Years Ago…

News<br />

SEEN…<br />

Council has assured us that<br />

although its COVID-19 sign<br />

at Palm Beach (Pit <strong>Life</strong> Nov)<br />

has not been taken down (as<br />

of this magazine going to<br />

print), its removal is “imminent”.<br />

While Council’s<br />

Dee Why-based crew is out<br />

and about in <strong>Pittwater</strong>, they<br />

might want to take down<br />

this redundant direction<br />

sign at Mona Vale (pictured<br />

right). Reader Sandra Mills<br />

writes: “The Peninsular Nursing Home has been closed<br />

and demolished for several years now and yet the signage<br />

remains at the beginning of Golf Avenue. Many thanks<br />

for forwarding this<br />

to Council on my<br />

behalf.”… Meanwhile,<br />

reader David Riley<br />

spied the jolly man in<br />

red re-familiarising<br />

himself with the local<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> scene and<br />

events in the lead-up<br />

to Christmas Day.<br />

(Hey, Santa – you might want<br />

to check out page 41 for this<br />

year’s Christmas diary!)…<br />

Also spotted in November<br />

was NSW Opposition Leader<br />

Mark Speakman who toured<br />

the <strong>Pittwater</strong> electorate with<br />

local MP Rory Amon to hear<br />

from residents, businesses<br />

and community groups. Along<br />

HEARD…<br />

the way Mr Speakman visited<br />

Johnson Bros Mitre 10 Mona<br />

Vale, which was recently<br />

named the Best Large Hardware<br />

Store in NSW. Mr Amon<br />

and Mr Speakman presented<br />

Johnson Bros with a certificate<br />

of recognition. They also<br />

attended the abandoned Mona<br />

Vale Road West upgrade site<br />

(pictured), confirming the<br />

location will remain more<br />

dangerous if not recommitted<br />

for upgrade by the Labor<br />

Government.<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Greens Councillor Miranda Korzy has pushed<br />

for a moratorium on vertical seawalls, raising the matter at<br />

Council’s November meeting. Ms Korzy said her motion was<br />

triggered by the recent approval of a third section of seawall<br />

at Collaroy Beach, despite what she said was an overwhelming<br />

majority of residents opposing it. “The current seven-metrehigh<br />

vertical seawall at Collaroy Beach is widely detested by<br />

residents,” she said. “It forms a massive concrete fortification<br />

rising above the beach, topped with a glass fence… and<br />

complete with surveillance cameras. I don’t want this wall<br />

to become a precedent for any other beaches prone to<br />

erosion, either on the Northern Beaches or elsewhere.”<br />

She added that the moratorium would not prevent the<br />

recently approved seawall at Collaroy from going ahead<br />

– and could not interfere with assessment of any further<br />

DAs that might be submitted. “It aims, however, to pause<br />

any Council proposals for vertical seawalls until we have<br />

reviewed our current situation and other possibilities.”<br />

ABSURD…<br />

Council has announced the proposal to extend public usage<br />

of Rowland Reserve Dog Park at Bayview by providing<br />

night lighting will not proceed – two years after it was<br />

placed on public exhibition in November 2021. Almost 350<br />

comments from residents, park users and groups were<br />

received, with feedback indicating a “moderate level of support”.<br />

Opponents though felt the proposed lighting would<br />

cause unnecessary light pollution, impact on nocturnal<br />

animals and would also affect nearby residents, with local<br />

neighbours concerned about additional noise. “Many<br />

thought the budget should be spent on other priorities,”<br />

Council noted. Which is ironic, given Council concluded: “As<br />

this project is currently unfunded, we will reconsider in future<br />

years when the appropriate funding becomes available.”<br />

34 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

News<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> News<br />

Hobart yacht start cruise<br />

Avoid the Boxing Day spectator crush and take in the start<br />

of this year’s Sydney to Hobart Yacht race with a four-hour<br />

catered cruise featuring informative race commentary.<br />

A canape menu is included plus a welcome glass of sparkling<br />

wine (other beverages available to purchase).<br />

Also, Coast Cruises is available for private charter on Sydney<br />

Harbour, utilising their prestige, contemporary catamaran.<br />

The owner-operated craft with professional, friendly crew accommodates<br />

from 30-150 guests, with pick-ups available from<br />

Manly or the city.<br />

*Boxing Day cruise details and more info visit coast cruises.<br />

com.au or scan the code on page 9.<br />

Local Probus News in <strong>December</strong><br />

The next meeting of <strong>Pittwater</strong> Men’s Probus<br />

will be held on Tuesday 12 <strong>December</strong> at<br />

Mona Vale Surf Club, commencing 10am.<br />

Guest speaker will be Club President Wes<br />

Harder who has had many adventures in<br />

his working life as an exploration geologist,<br />

stockbroker and corporate CEO. Wes promises<br />

he will relate some adventures – and his many<br />

misadventures – of a lifetime of interesting<br />

work. Visitors welcome; more info Terry Larke<br />

(0412 220 820).<br />

Narrabeen Lakes Probus Club next meets<br />

on Wednesday January 24, 2024 (there is no<br />

meeting in <strong>December</strong>) at Narrabeen Baptist<br />

Surf Clubs urged to<br />

apply for grants<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> MP Rory Amon is<br />

encouraging local Surf <strong>Life</strong><br />

Saving Clubs to apply for<br />

their share of $5.25 million<br />

in funding for the upgrade,<br />

restoration or construction of<br />

facilities. Applications for the<br />

Surf Club Facility Program are<br />

now open, with grants of up to<br />

$1 million up for grabs. “<strong>Pittwater</strong>’s<br />

12 surf lifesaving clubs<br />

are the heart of our beachside<br />

community, with more surf<br />

life saving clubs than any<br />

other electorate. This program<br />

is about making sure those<br />

clubs have the resources they<br />

need, including facilities that<br />

are modern, accessible, and<br />

fit for purpose.” Applicants<br />

can apply for various funding<br />

streams, with Category 1 for<br />

facility improvements under<br />

$100,000 and Categories 2<br />

and 3 for larger construction<br />

projects up to and above<br />

$500,000. Applications for<br />

Category 1 close Monday 11<br />

<strong>December</strong> and applications for<br />

Church. Doors open at 9.45am for 10am<br />

meeting. The club has around 80 members<br />

(visitors welcome, no waiting list). January<br />

guest speaker will be from the National<br />

Maritime Museum. More info call or text 0424<br />

464 047.<br />

Bilgola Plateau Probus Club does not have<br />

a meeting scheduled for <strong>December</strong>; instead<br />

they will hold their Christmas Party on<br />

Friday 1 <strong>December</strong> at Club Palm Beach. The<br />

Club reports a very successful year; they are<br />

still welcoming new members, have enjoyed<br />

interesting speakers and made new friends.<br />

Enquiries call Shelley (0415 538 864).<br />

Categories 2 and 3 will close<br />

on Wednesday 31 January<br />

2024. More info and to apply<br />

visit sport.nsw.gov.au/grants<br />

Warriewood Centre<br />

build gets go-ahead<br />

Northern Beaches Council has<br />

given the green light for the<br />

Warriewood Valley Community<br />

Centre to proceed to the<br />

construction phase. Construction<br />

is anticipated to commence<br />

in April next year, with<br />

a completion date of August<br />

2025. The new multi-use community<br />

centre will be built on<br />

the existing site of the Nelson<br />

Heather Centre. Council said<br />

the centre would be an attractive,<br />

modern and resilient<br />

building with the capacity<br />

to switch to an Emergency<br />

and Recovery Centre during<br />

a period of community<br />

crisis. The centre will have<br />

something for everyone with<br />

halls for recreational activities,<br />

meeting rooms, a community<br />

lounge room, large<br />

covered outdoor spaces which<br />

overlook landscaped gardens,<br />

showers and kitchen facilities.<br />

Bayview Tennis Club<br />

calls for members<br />

Thinking about your wellness<br />

goals for 2024? Get<br />

ahead of the ball and take<br />

up tennis – Bayview Tennis<br />

Club is opening up its<br />

membership and is calling<br />

for new members, junior or<br />

senior. Enjoy social and competitive<br />

playing opportunities<br />

for all levels and hone your<br />

skills with coaching. This<br />

friendly and social club is<br />

located right beside <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

36 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Glen Street 2024 launch<br />

With a fresh line-up of performances, covering a suite of<br />

genres for all generations, Glen Steet Theatre’s stage is<br />

set for a sensational 2024 Season.<br />

Highlights include the West End and Broadway classic and<br />

longest running play of all-time – the event of the year –<br />

Agatha Christie’s ‘The Mousetrap’.<br />

Families will find plenty of fun with high energy shows<br />

like ‘The Gruffalo’ and ‘Dog Man the Musical’. There are also<br />

big names in Australian music like Kate Miller-Heidke and<br />

Prinnie Stevens, top live music tributes to Fleetwood Mac, The<br />

Beatles, ABBA, and more as well as plenty of dance with ‘The<br />

Tap Pack’ and the return of the popular ‘Taste of Ireland’.<br />

Audiences will be treated to excellent dramas and acclaimed<br />

productions such as Pulitzer Prize-winning ‘Wit’;<br />

‘The Peasant Prince’, adapted for children from Li Cunxin’s<br />

iconic autobiography Mao’s Last Dancer; and the winsome<br />

and lyrical Australian drama ‘The Highway of Lost Hearts’<br />

by Mary Anne Butler.<br />

Glen Street Theatre favourites also return, such as the beloved<br />

Wharf Revue with their new show ‘Pride in Prejudice’<br />

(pictured), the Melbourne International Comedy Festival<br />

Roadshow, and a suite of excellent film screenings.<br />

*Tickets on sale 18 <strong>December</strong>; bookings glenstreet.com.au<br />

or call 9470 5913.<br />

News<br />

foreshore, with easy parking<br />

and first-class facilities.<br />

The two synthetic grass<br />

courts and clubhouse are<br />

extremely well maintained.<br />

They host great social<br />

events each year, including a<br />

Wimbledon Day, Easter and<br />

Christmas parties and opportunities<br />

to interact with other<br />

local clubs. All members are<br />

welcome to join in on social<br />

events and use the club’s<br />

facilities. More info visit tennis.com.au/Bayview<br />

Christmas drama<br />

The Northern Beaches Youth<br />

Theatre (NBYT) Christmas<br />

Season of performances<br />

includes its Christmas Spectacular<br />

and the play ‘April<br />

AardVark’ (by Nathaniel Mon-<br />

Continued on page 38<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 37

News<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> News<br />

Continued from page 37<br />

crieff). The Christmas Spectacular<br />

is a family friendly<br />

celebration of youth creativity<br />

with NBYT’s younger members<br />

presenting three original<br />

festive stories. ‘April Aardvark’<br />

is a humorous tale for<br />

our time with some important<br />

messages recommended<br />

for viewers aged seven and<br />

above. Shows will be held at<br />

10 Jubilee Ave Warriewood<br />

on Thursday nights Nov 30<br />

and Dec 7 with matinee and<br />

evening performances on Saturdays<br />

Dec 2 and 9. Tickets<br />

from $10; bookings via NBYT<br />

social media pages.<br />

School sports shoes<br />

special discount offer<br />

Attention parents: The<br />

Northern Beaches Indoor<br />

Sports Centre (NBISC) at<br />

Warriewood and Mona Vale<br />

shoe retailer Mike Pawley<br />

are joining forces to offer<br />

a discount to all students<br />

and players/participants<br />

at the NBISC for the most<br />

appropriate sports shoes<br />

that do not mark the hall’s<br />

polished timber playing<br />

surface. They are urging<br />

parents to not buy their<br />

children’s sport shoes until<br />

the special promotion is<br />

announced in the January<br />

issue of <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong>. Full<br />

details in next month’s<br />

magazine.<br />

Iva Masek biography<br />

A biography of Iva Masek, the<br />

well-known Barrenjoey High<br />

School teacher for over 30<br />

years, is being launched from<br />

4pm on Friday 1 <strong>December</strong><br />

at Club Palm Beach. Iva was a<br />

driving force in the creative<br />

life of the school. Written by<br />

another former teacher, Lyn<br />

Levy, ‘Mrs Masek’s Marionettes’<br />

chronicles Iva’s life, including<br />

her early experience under<br />

a repressive Soviet regime<br />

in Czechoslovakia. Former<br />

students are invited –<br />

especially those who<br />

were involved in the Rock<br />

38 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Eisteddfod – as well as<br />

colleagues, student families<br />

and community members<br />

who helped make the<br />

productions so successful.<br />

More info and to RSVP email<br />

mrsmaseksmarionettes@<br />

gmail.com<br />

urged boaters to Log On before<br />

embarking to ensure volunteers<br />

could assist. “We know<br />

Logging On can help save lives<br />

and we ask all boaters to make<br />

it a habit when they head out<br />

on the water,” Commissioner<br />

Barrell said.<br />

Busy rescue month<br />

Church Point-based Marine<br />

Rescue NSW volunteers were<br />

involved in 18 search and rescue<br />

efforts in October – their<br />

busiest month since January.<br />

Across the state volunteers<br />

were involved in a record 386<br />

search and rescue missions,<br />

making it the Service’s busiest<br />

ever start to a boating season,<br />

which runs from 1 October to<br />

25 April. The previous busiest<br />

October for Marine Rescue<br />

NSW was in 2020 when crews<br />

completed 376 missions. Marine<br />

Rescue NSW Commissioner<br />

Alex Barrell said just over<br />

a quarter of responses were<br />

for emergency situations, with<br />

57% of calls for assistance for<br />

mechanical or fuel issues. He<br />

Community invited to<br />

decorate Dunbar Park<br />

Get into the Christmas<br />

spirit creating sustainable<br />

Christmas decorations for<br />

trees in Avalon’s Dunbar Park<br />

at a community workshop on<br />

<strong>December</strong> 7. <strong>Pittwater</strong> Greens<br />

Councillor Miranda Korzy<br />

said she’s delighted Council<br />

staff have picked up on her<br />

idea for the community<br />

to decorate trees in<br />

Avalon. “Given the creativity<br />

of many in the Avalon<br />

community, both young and<br />

old, this is an opportunity<br />

to have some fun together<br />

without creating more of the<br />

plastic waste that abounds<br />

Continued on page 40<br />

News<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Christmas Market<br />

Organisers of the highly anticipated <strong>Pittwater</strong> Christmas<br />

Market, set to grace Mona Vale from 10am-4pm on Saturday<br />

9 <strong>December</strong>, say it will herald the celebratory spirit of<br />

the season.<br />

Cambridge Markets pledges this year’s extravaganza will<br />

surpass all expectations, presenting an expanded array of<br />

offerings.<br />

Patrons can expect a cornucopia of delights, from handcrafted<br />

artisanal goods to delectable culinary treats, perfect<br />

for gift-giving or personal indulgence. The market will<br />

pulsate with an air of festivity, featuring vibrant stalls (150)<br />

showcasing unique wares, merry entertainment (including<br />

live music), delicious international food and a jubilant<br />

atmosphere that resonates the joy of the holidays.<br />

With an aim to create a truly enchanting experience, the<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Christmas Market is an unmissable highlight for<br />

anyone seeking the perfect blend of seasonal cheer and<br />

delightful discoveries.<br />

*Head to Winnererremy Bay, Mona Vale on Saturday 9<br />

<strong>December</strong>, 10am-4pm; more info email mads@cambridgemarkets.com.au<br />

or visit cambridgemarkets.com.au<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 39

<strong>Pittwater</strong> News<br />

Continued from page 39<br />

at Christmas,” Cr Korzy<br />

said. Twelve small Melaleuca<br />

trees (paperbarks) in Dunbar<br />

Park will be available for<br />

decoration and residents<br />

can also reserve one for<br />

themselves or a group to trim.<br />

Council staff will be onsite at<br />

the workshop on <strong>December</strong> 7,<br />

from 3.30-6.30pm. “Everyone<br />

is invited to come along and<br />

make their own ornaments<br />

from natural and other<br />

sustainable materials. These<br />

will be provided but feel<br />

free to bring your own,” said<br />

Cr Korzy. Local artists are<br />

also involved in planning<br />

the workshop and will be on<br />

hand to help on the day. For<br />

more info or to reserve a tree<br />

call 1300 434 434 or email<br />

places@northernbeaches.<br />

nsw.gov.au<br />

Mosquito surveillance<br />

program soon to begin<br />

Northern Beaches Council is<br />

again teaming up with NSW<br />

Health in an annual surveillance<br />

program which traps<br />

mosquitoes at key locations<br />

in the area to monitor their<br />

numbers and detect any<br />

viruses they may be carrying.<br />

Our Council will begin weekly<br />

monitoring of viruses in<br />

mosquitoes from 4 <strong>December</strong><br />

to April 2024 at key locations<br />

along Narrabeen Lagoon and<br />

Warriewood wetlands. It is<br />

the fifth year Council has participated<br />

in the surveillance<br />

program. More info Council<br />

website.<br />

Leaders wanted for<br />

youth parliament<br />

The next generation of youth<br />

leaders is invited to apply to<br />

participate in the Y NSW’s<br />

Youth Parliament program in<br />

2024. The Y (formerly YMCA)<br />

Youth Parliament provides a<br />

unique platform for individuals<br />

to actively participate in<br />

the democratic process and<br />

advocate for issues that they<br />

are passionate about. Young<br />

people in Years 10, 11 and<br />

12 (or equivalent age) in all<br />

93 NSW state electorates are<br />

invited to express interest.<br />

School teachers and Members<br />

of Parliament can also<br />

nominate a young person.<br />

To apply visit ymcansw.org.<br />

au and submit applications<br />

before 9 February 2024.<br />

News<br />

New boating showcase<br />

Eyachts and Carbon Yachts’ recently opened<br />

new Sydney Showroom at Warriewood is<br />

set to be a central hub for yacht enthusiasts<br />

and potential owners.<br />

Luxury yacht sales leader Peter Hrones<br />

said that with a diverse range of models from<br />

Axopar, BRABUS Marine, RAND, Virtue and<br />

Saffier Yachts on display, the spacious showroom<br />

now served as a “full-time boat show”.<br />

Hrones said of his local operation: “Over the<br />

past three years, the group has expanded in<br />

numerous ways – launching two new businesses,<br />

opening two additional offices, and<br />

more than doubling our staff.<br />

“The opening of our Sydney Showroom not<br />

only underscores this growth but also reaffirms<br />

our commitment to providing top-tier<br />

service by creating a central hub for spare<br />

parts for all our brands.”<br />

*Visitors to the showroom at 6C Prosperity<br />

Place welcome; more info and showroom<br />

hours visit eyachts.com.au or contact boats@<br />

eyachts.com.au<br />

40 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

A Very <strong>Pittwater</strong> Christmas…<br />


The LJ Hooker team are<br />

collecting gifts on behalf of<br />

Link Community Care for<br />

families in need. If you can<br />

donate, please drop off a<br />

wrapped gift labelled with the<br />

contents to any of the offices<br />

at Avalon, Palm Beach or<br />

Newport by Monday 4.<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> MP Rory Amon’s<br />

office is a collection point<br />

for The Acts of Kindness<br />

Community Outreach<br />

Christmas Hamper Appeal.<br />

Goods such as Plumrose<br />

Tin Ham 450g, Christmas<br />

pudding, long life custard,<br />

bon bons, biscuits, large bags<br />

of chips, lollies, chocolate, tin<br />

tuna, tin corn, tin spaghetti,<br />

tin beans and cordial or<br />

1.24litre soft drinks (ring pull<br />

or lid please) will be accepted<br />

until Tuesday 12 when they<br />

will be used to make up 300<br />

hampers for our homeless<br />

and vulnerable. 1725<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Road Mona Vale.<br />

Local libraries have wishing<br />

trees set up. Take a gift tag<br />

from the tree, return your<br />

gift unwrapped no later<br />

than Saturday 16 <strong>December</strong><br />

and give it to library staff.<br />

Gifts will be distributed<br />

by Community Northern<br />

Beaches to local families this<br />

Christmas.<br />


In The Library<br />

Mona Vale Mon 4 from<br />

11am-12pm<br />

Drop in and listen to Mona<br />

Vale Public School choir sing<br />

some popular Christmas<br />

songs and share the festive<br />

spirit.<br />

At The Beach (pictured)<br />

Avalon Sat 9 from<br />

4pm-9pm<br />

Enjoy the Jubilation Choir, a<br />

market-style food fair, a visit<br />

from Santa and spectacular<br />

fireworks over beautiful<br />

Avalon Beach to end the<br />

festivities. Info 9918 3298.<br />

In The Park<br />

Mona Vale Sat 9 from 6.30pm-<br />

9pm<br />

Pack a picnic and take the<br />

family to the annual Mona Vale<br />

Carols hosted by the Rotary<br />

Club of Upper Northern Beaches<br />

in Village Park. Info 8005 0711.<br />

By The Lake<br />

Narrabeen Sat 16 from<br />

6pm-9.15pm<br />

Head to Lakeside Park<br />

North Narrabeen for preentertainment<br />

by local artists<br />

followed by traditional<br />

Christmas carols from 7pm<br />

and fireworks over the lake.<br />

Info 9999 0475.<br />

Vet<br />

on call<br />

with Dr Brown<br />

Paralysis ticks are commonly<br />

found on the east coast<br />

of Australia. They are most<br />

active in the warmer months,<br />

especially after wet weather<br />

which initiates hatching of<br />

eggs. They are a serious problem<br />

for pets, particularly on<br />

the Northern Beaches.<br />

After the tick has been attached<br />

for a day or two, enough<br />

poison will have been injected<br />

to cause significant neurological<br />

disease. The most common<br />

symptom is a weak paralysis<br />

starting in the hind limbs. Over<br />

time the paralysis ascends the<br />

body to eventually affect the<br />

muscles of breathing and swallowing.<br />

This process causes significant<br />

illness and death unless<br />

an antiserum is administered.<br />

Other symptoms of tick<br />

paralysis include vomiting,<br />

coughing, excessive panting<br />

and grunting, and a reluctance<br />

to get up or walk.<br />

Tick poisoning is common,<br />

severe – but very preventable.<br />

Tips for prevention include:<br />

* Clipping by an experienced<br />

groomer and daily searching.<br />

* Administration of highly<br />

effective and safe tick preventatives,<br />

such as the soon-to-bereleased<br />

yearly injection.<br />

* Avoid taking your pet into<br />

long grasses and bushland.<br />

* Ensure that you have appropriate<br />

pet insurance.<br />

It is important to seek veterinary<br />

attention to determine<br />

whether your pet needs tick<br />

anti-toxin. Until then, there are<br />

steps you can take to reduce<br />

the risk of complications, including<br />

keeping your pet calm,<br />

quiet and cool – excitement,<br />

exercise and overheating can<br />

exacerbate illness associated<br />

with tick paralysis.<br />

Also, remove food and water.<br />

Your pet’s ability to swallow<br />

may be compromised, putting<br />

them at risk of aspiration<br />

pneumonia.<br />

With the upcoming release of<br />

a yearly flea-and-tick injection,<br />

Sydney Animal Hospitals can<br />

provide a long-term prevention<br />

to keep your pet safe, without<br />

the worry of needing to remember<br />

to give your pet a regular<br />

tablet at home. Book your appointment<br />

today.<br />

News<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 41

The Big Swim from Palm Beach to<br />

Whale Beach celebrates its 50th<br />

anniversary in January; here, event<br />

organisers and long-supporting<br />

entrants recall how it has evolved<br />

into one of the most significant<br />

of all ocean swims…<br />

Story by Steve Meacham<br />

<strong>Life</strong> Stories<br />

Thinking BIG<br />

Fifty years ago, Paul swimming? It looks OK at Kiddies<br />

Corner but look at those saw the safety of Whale Beach, ficially it is still called the ‘Bob<br />

Sou-Westerly. Then, when they before the second event. Of-<br />

Hughes – now 88, a life<br />

member of Whale Beach waves (out to sea). It is going to they separated – with former Lynch Memorial Marathon<br />

Surf <strong>Life</strong> Saving Club, and now<br />

living in Avalon – was lining<br />

up on Palm Beach awaiting the<br />

start of the first ‘Big Swim’.<br />

“There were only 48 of us,<br />

mostly patrol members of the<br />

Whale Beach club with a couple<br />

of ring-ins,” he recalls. “We<br />

were worried about sharks<br />

and the surf conditions once<br />

we rounded the headland<br />

towards Whale Beach.”<br />

Police sergeant Bob Lynch,<br />

then the captain of the Whale<br />

Beach club, had come up with<br />

the idea.<br />

“I remember saying to Bob<br />

before we set off that morning,<br />

‘Do you think we should be<br />

get very rough when we round<br />

the headland’.<br />

“We were genuinely scared<br />

about sharks on that first<br />

swim, but Bob said he had arranged<br />

for a team of underwater<br />

divers to protect us.”<br />

As it transpires, there has<br />

never been a single shark<br />

attack in the years since 1974.<br />

Much more prevalent have<br />

been the bluebottles.<br />

That inaugural Big Swim<br />

remains what Paul Hughes<br />

calls “the roughest I have ever<br />

taken part in”.<br />

The 48 males – no women<br />

members in those days – stuck<br />

together as they swam into a<br />

policeman Paul Hughes striking<br />

clear to win.<br />

A photo exists of the second<br />

year, with three female competitors<br />

among the starting<br />

line-up. They wouldn’t have<br />

been patrol members because<br />

women weren’t permitted to<br />

patrol back then, just make<br />

the sandwiches and arrange<br />

the social evenings.<br />

Paul Hughes says he will<br />

be taking part again in the<br />

50th anniversary Big Swim on<br />

the Australia Day weekend in<br />

January, despite admitting he<br />

needs to train a bit harder.<br />

Sadly instigator Bob Lynch<br />

died on his police motorbike<br />

Swim’, but a reporter for the<br />

Australian Financial Review<br />

(after their first entry) labelled<br />

it the ‘Big Swim’, and sponsors<br />

– the latest being Macquarie<br />

Bank, which has been a supporter<br />

for 24 years – have<br />

latched onto that moniker.<br />

There are older longdistance<br />

swims in Australia,<br />

including Swim Thru Perth,<br />

first held in 1912 along the<br />

Swan River to Fremantle. Recognised<br />

as the premier ocean<br />

swim on the East Coast, today<br />

the Big Swim is the cornerstone<br />

of the <strong>Pittwater</strong> Ocean<br />

Swims Series, organised on<br />

consecutive weekends by the<br />

44 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

five local lifesaving clubs Newport,<br />

Bilgola, Mona Vale, Whale<br />

Beach and Avalon Beach. The<br />

swims serve as a major annual<br />

fundraiser for each of the<br />

clubs.<br />

“Don’t call the Big Swim a<br />

race,” says long-serving race<br />

public relations man Rob<br />

Berry, who also took part in<br />

that inaugural Big Swim. “We<br />

have photos of people hugging<br />

when they get to Whale Beach,<br />

just glad they have achieved<br />

their personal best.”<br />

One of the pioneer swimmers<br />

from 1974, 69-year-old local<br />

builder Brian Lamrock, and<br />

his son Jack – the Whale Beach<br />

Club’s current captain – will be<br />

in the swim in January. They<br />

will all start at Palm Beach<br />

according to their age categories.<br />

At the finish, swimmers<br />

will all get free fruit – donated<br />

by ‘Fresh Produce Co’ from<br />

Flemington Markets – with<br />

nectarines and peaches by the<br />

punnet.<br />

Some Olympians take part<br />

in the swim and are more competitive<br />

between themselves.<br />

However, race ‘records’ – something<br />

that doesn’t weigh heavily<br />

in the competitors’ motivations<br />

according to Rob – hover<br />

around the 29-minute mark,<br />

depending on the conditions.<br />

Then again, some winners have<br />

needed almost an hour to get<br />

to Whale Beach.<br />

Olympians Jon Konrads,<br />

Graeme Brewer, Mark Morgan,<br />

Daniel Kowalski, Hayley Lewis<br />

and Shane Gould are some of<br />

the elite swimmers who have<br />

taken the plunge, with Gould<br />

recording a win in her age<br />

category.<br />

Avalon local Chris Shaw<br />

has a remarkable record in<br />

the Big Swim, having adjusted<br />

the goggles a record 44 times<br />

since 1973; he’ll be on the start<br />

line for the 50th swim. Also,<br />

there is an extensive list of<br />

those who have done the swim<br />

at least 10 times.<br />

The course is usually 2.8<br />

kilometres, depending on conditions<br />

which vary from year<br />

to year. “It has always been<br />

‘a journey swim’,” Rob points<br />

out. Most swims in Australia –<br />

and on the Northern Beaches<br />

– are beach swims, where entrants<br />

swim around a number<br />

of buoys but are essentially<br />

confined between headlands.<br />

For those not-so-competent<br />

swimmers, there is also the<br />

Big Little Swim around a 1km<br />

course at Palm Beach.<br />

Prominent in each Big Swim<br />

are those wearing ‘Can Too’<br />

cossies; a number are women<br />

who are cancer survivors<br />

while others are doing the<br />

swim to raise money for cancer<br />

research.<br />

At 81, Richard Stewart has<br />

been the Big Swim director<br />

since 1981. He took part in the<br />

first one but won’t be swimming<br />

in the 50th anniversary<br />

event: “It’s hard to be in the<br />

Continued on page 46<br />

<strong>Life</strong> Stories<br />

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Excited Can Too swimmers;<br />

multiple participants Bill Westerly, David Campbell, Steve Hill<br />

and Chris Shaw in 1998; elation at the finish; it’s a swim for<br />

everyone; Helen Dauncey, the 50+ age group winner in 2009;<br />

winner of the inaugural Big Swim in 1974, Paul Hughes; the<br />

all-male starting line-up in 1974; former MPs Rob Stokes and<br />

Alex McTaggart have supported the cause.<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 45

GET SET: The Male Elite swimmers at the start of the 2002 Big Swim.<br />

<strong>Life</strong> Stories<br />

Continued from page 45<br />

water and be on the beach<br />

directing the race at the same<br />

time,” he says with a hint of<br />

sarcasm.<br />

For years, he and Rob were<br />

partners in surf carnivals<br />

along the Northern Beaches in<br />

surf kayak races (“me in the<br />

front seat, Rob behind”).<br />

In any given year, around 40<br />

per cent of entrants are now female,<br />

he says. They come from<br />

far and wide. “We were the<br />

first open ocean swim on the<br />

east coast, and now we have an<br />

international reputation,” Richard<br />

explains. “We regularly<br />

have entrants from Japan, the<br />

USA, UK and Singapore.”<br />

“One lady, Betty-Ann, was<br />

from the USA and was part of<br />

the crew of Hawaiian Airlines.<br />

Each year she’d arrange her<br />

schedule to arrive in Sydney<br />

the day before the event, swim<br />

it, then fly out the next day.”<br />

The swim established its<br />

high-water mark of 1930 entrants<br />

in 2005; coincidentally<br />

and disappointingly, that was<br />

the only time in its 49 years<br />

Continued on page 48<br />

46 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

<strong>Life</strong> Stories<br />

SURF WATCH: Organisers ensure plenty of safety craft are on hand.<br />

Continued from page 46<br />

that no-one got to dip their<br />

toes in the water.<br />

“There was an east coast low,<br />

with monstrous seas,” Richard<br />

recalls. “It was apparent at<br />

Palm Beach, which is much<br />

more benign than Whale Beach.<br />

“I drove to Whale Beach to<br />

speak to the surf club captain.<br />

He said: ‘If anyone gets stuck<br />

out there we won’t be able to<br />

rescue them’.”<br />

Richard describes Bob Lynch<br />

– father of former international<br />

surfer Barton Lynch – as<br />

“delightful to be with, intelligent,<br />

fun… and he died far too<br />

early in the line of duty, not to<br />

be here to witness the success<br />

of his legacy.”<br />

For the 50th, as ever, organisers<br />

will provide an abundance<br />

of water safety around<br />

the course with jetskis, IRBs,<br />

heaps of boards and skis, Marine<br />

Rescue craft, while flying<br />

over for surveillance will be<br />

four SLSA-operated drones.<br />

*Videos of past events and<br />

information on parking can<br />

be found at thebigswim.org.<br />

au with online registrations at<br />

oceanswims.com<br />

48 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Hot Property<br />

Streets with names that allude to a view<br />

Take a look at these three beautiful properties – character-filled, impeccably designed with premium<br />

finishes and all boasting addresses that reflect some stunning views. Compiled by Lisa Offord<br />

Architecturally designed to capture all-day<br />

light with a northeast aspect, Chateau<br />

Sur-Mer on the ridgeline at 124 Pacific Road<br />

Palm Beach enjoys magnificent sunrises<br />

over the ocean and sunsets on the <strong>Pittwater</strong><br />

side. This residence offers a balanced<br />

floorplan, grand entryway, soaring doubleheight<br />

ceilings, rich hardwood floors and<br />

French windows. Multiple living spaces on<br />

the ground floor are joined by decks on<br />

both sides and well-established gardens.<br />

Upstairs are four to five bedrooms, two<br />

with ensuites and bathroom. Contact Peter<br />

Robinson LJ Hooker Palm Beach.<br />

Hot Property<br />

This level-access, family entertainer is in a lofty<br />

spot with a panoramic ocean outlook at 37 The<br />

Outlook Bilgola Plateau. Boasting a coveted<br />

northeast position, the ground level of this<br />

finely crafted home with Australian hardwood<br />

timber features and loft ceilings, holds the<br />

kitchen, dining, two lounge areas, three<br />

bedrooms, home office and a family bathroom.<br />

Two bedrooms on the upper level are connected<br />

by a wall library. A private rear garden and<br />

luxurious 20-metre lap pool completes the<br />

picture. Guide $3.5 million. Contact Amy<br />

Young Laing+Simmons Avalon Beach.<br />

Enjoying a prime absolute position on<br />

the beachfront at Mona Vale Basin the<br />

masterbuilt Shelton House takes full<br />

advantage of its location with 180-degree<br />

views from the rockpool to the headland.<br />

Designed by rama architects 9 Surfview<br />

Road Mona Vale has a generous and<br />

elegantly proportioned floorplan with<br />

five bedrooms and four bathrooms and<br />

open-plan living flowing to sun-soaked<br />

entertaining terraces and level lawn, with<br />

direct access to the sand. Expressions<br />

of interest closes 6/12. Contact Noel<br />

Nicholson Ray White Prestige.<br />

50 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Art <strong>Life</strong><br />

Art <strong>Life</strong><br />

Ross’ Celebration of identity<br />

Terrey Hills based artist Ross Halfacree<br />

has just returned from London where his<br />

work ‘Celebration’ was included in the <strong>2023</strong><br />

London Art Biennale.<br />

The 400 finalists were selected from more<br />

than 8,000 entries from 80 nations.<br />

Ross said ‘Celebration’ was part of his<br />

exploration of the theme of identity, and a<br />

consequence of discussions with non-binary<br />

friends and work colleagues over the past 10<br />

years.<br />

“The freedom to explore who we are,<br />

and be who we are, should always be a safe<br />

journey and a precious right,” said Ross.<br />

“The complexity of personal identity is<br />

no more profound than in the sometimes<br />

emotionally complex journeys faced by those<br />

exploring their gender identity.<br />

“My work proudly acknowledges some<br />

of the unique gender identifiers, cradled<br />

within the celebratory colors of pride. One<br />

area on the work remains undefined, hoping<br />

that the exploration and celebration of<br />

identity continues. The purpose of the work<br />

is to generate a curiosity to learn more,<br />

to heighten awareness and to encourage<br />

acceptance.<br />

Ross had originally decided to leave<br />

the work in London with an appropriate<br />

ACOP Christmas show<br />

The Artists and Craftsmen of <strong>Pittwater</strong> are holding their Christmas<br />

exhibition and sale at Mona Vale Memorial Hall from Friday<br />

15 to Sunday 17 <strong>December</strong>.<br />

The range of beautiful watercolours, acrylics, oils, toys, clothing,<br />

homewares and more will provide great options for that perfect<br />

Christmas present for a loved one or friend.<br />

“If you’re looking for a stocking filler, a beautiful piece of art<br />

or a last-minute gift for someone, you’ll find it here,” said ACOP’s<br />

Margaret Thew.<br />

“Our artisans from across the Northern Beaches are passionate<br />

about what they do. So spread the word to your friends and family<br />

and share that passion at our <strong>December</strong> exhibition.” – NW<br />

*Find out more at acop.com.au, facebook.com/ACOP1967, Instagram.com/acop1967<br />

or call Margaret on 0402 846 751.<br />

not-for-profit. He contacted and met with<br />

Fiona Russell, the COO of the Elton John<br />

AIDS Foundation (pictured with Ross), and<br />

subsequently agreed to donate the work.<br />

“They are in discussions with Elton<br />

regarding the final destination of the work,<br />

which might include its auction in March<br />

2024 at the Foundation’s Annual Academy<br />

Awards Viewing Party in Los Angeles,” said<br />

Ross.<br />

Ross is continuing his work on ‘Identity’<br />

in his Eramboo studio, with a solo exhibition<br />

planned for the end of 2024. – NW<br />

Palmy gallery<br />

is art ready<br />

As we head into another holiday<br />

season, the boutique<br />

Art Gallery on Palm Beach is<br />

full of affordable art including<br />

ceramics, sculptures, small<br />

paintings and large works suitable<br />

for gifting or special treats<br />

for the homeowner or friends.<br />

Showcasing more than 18 artists,<br />

the gallery has something<br />

for everyone including local<br />

scenes from prize-winning photography<br />

artist Sally Mayman;<br />

watercolour and oils, depicting<br />

the beauty of <strong>Pittwater</strong> and<br />

nostalgia by prize-winning artist<br />

Vicki Ratcliff; and quirky and<br />

retro artwork by Laurie McKern.<br />

Director Vanessa Ashcroft<br />

says very popular with so many<br />

from the eastern suburbs is<br />

ceramic artist Lia Klugman, with<br />

her totems and large, sculptural<br />

pieces putting the ‘wow’ into<br />

any home.<br />

“Drop in and have a chat,<br />

discuss a commission of work,<br />

or just gaze upon the mix of<br />

high-quality prize-winning art,”<br />

says Vanessa.<br />

*Gallery open 10am-3pm<br />

Thursday to Sundays and<br />

open all January.<br />

52 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

The Studio reimagined<br />

Celebrated local artist Anne<br />

Spencer’s work is about<br />

capturing the essence of her<br />

relationship with her surroundings;<br />

this unique reimagining of<br />

experience will be on exhibition<br />

to close the year at The Studio<br />

by Laing+Simmons Young<br />

Property. Anne’s exhibition,<br />

Reimagined, will be open at the<br />

Careel Bay space on Saturdays<br />

from <strong>December</strong><br />

9 from<br />

9am-12 noon,<br />

and by private<br />

appointment.<br />

Anne’s work<br />

has been<br />

represented by<br />

Sydney galleries<br />

including<br />

Charles Hewitt<br />

Gallery, Janet<br />

Clayton Gallery and Project<br />

Gallery 90. Internationally, she<br />

has contributed works for the<br />

Affordable Art Fair in New York<br />

and Seattle, and at Gallery 104<br />

in the Manhattan Art Centre.<br />

Anne also had the honour<br />

of private access to paint at<br />

Monet’s Garden in Giverny.<br />

She currently paints full-time<br />

in her Palm Beach studio and<br />

remains a passionate activist<br />

fighting for the Northern Beaches<br />

environment and heritage.<br />

Anne (pictured with Matthew<br />

and Amy Young) views painting<br />

as “a form of enlightenment”<br />

where she uses traditional<br />

techniques of oil painting and<br />

watercolours to lose herself in<br />

time. “I approach my surroundings<br />

as a series of shapes and<br />

configurations,” Anne explains.<br />

“My artwork is semi-representational.<br />

I don’t try to<br />

imitate nature but to create in<br />

paint the essence of how I react<br />

to, or relate<br />

to, a given<br />

experience,<br />

my surroundings<br />

or landscape.<br />

This<br />

reaction I try<br />

to describe<br />

using colour,<br />

simplified<br />

line, shape<br />

and forms to<br />

capture this essence.”<br />

‘Reimagined’ will raise important<br />

funds for the Avalon Beach<br />

Historical Society, with 15% of<br />

proceeds from sales donated to<br />

the society.<br />

The Studio space is in Careel<br />

Bay Marina. Contact Matthew<br />

Young on 0418 723 232 for<br />

more info. – Nigel Wall<br />

*Laing+Simmons Young Property’s<br />

work with The Studio<br />

has seen it named a finalist<br />

in the Innovator of the Year<br />

category at the industry REB<br />

Awards in February.<br />

Three Peaks gift ideas<br />

Professional landscape photographer<br />

Peter Sedgwick<br />

is back with great gift ideas<br />

at Warriewood Square until<br />

Christmas Eve.<br />

On display are more than<br />

500 unique and beautiful<br />

images, with a full portfolio<br />

of work featuring all the<br />

Northern Beaches. Another<br />

portfolio showcases hidden<br />

bays and beaches of <strong>Pittwater</strong>,<br />

plus there’s imagery<br />

from the north coast, Central<br />

Coast, south coast and the<br />

Blue Mountains.<br />

Purchase a framed print<br />

at one of the three standard<br />

sizes and the framing can be<br />

done while you wait. Images<br />

can be purchased to suit –<br />

simply take a photo of your<br />

wall space, email it to peter@<br />

threepeaksphotography.com.<br />

au and the image that you<br />

like can be digitally ‘hung’ on<br />

your wall.<br />

Peter also offers one-onone<br />

photography tuition,<br />

comprising a full day of learning<br />

(based on your needs) at<br />

Narrabeen. Plus he runs twoday<br />

workshops held locally or<br />

in the Blue Mountains.<br />

Gift Cards and Christmas<br />

Cards also available. Gift<br />

Vouchers for all products.<br />

*Find Peter in front of<br />

Lowe’s from <strong>December</strong> 4;<br />

visit threepeaksphotography.com.au<br />

or call 0409<br />

049 745<br />

Art <strong>Life</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />


Art <strong>Life</strong><br />

‘Lost in Palm Springs’ found in Manly<br />

stunning multidisciplinary exhibition that celebrates the<br />

A landscape and mid-century modern architecture found in<br />

the desert city of Palm Springs, California is coming to Manly<br />

Art Gallery & Museum.<br />

‘Lost in Palm Springs’ will run from Friday 8 <strong>December</strong> to<br />

Sunday 25 February 2024.<br />

The exhibition – which is also part<br />

of Sydney Festival 2024 – provides<br />

a unique opportunity to experience<br />

works from 14 internationally recognised<br />

artists, photographers and<br />

thinkers from America and Australia.<br />

Curated by award-winning Australian<br />

writer and conceptual artist,<br />

Dr Greer Honeywill, Lost in Palm<br />

Springs features works that respond<br />

to and capture the unique characteristics<br />

of the city, its surroundings, and<br />

its Bauhaus style.<br />

Lost in Palm Springs evolved as<br />

an exhibition in response to three<br />

artist research residencies undertaken by Dr Honeywill in Palm<br />

Springs in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and research that continued in<br />

Australia between the residencies.<br />

“I call ‘Lost in Palm Springs’ (the exhibition and the book), the<br />

project of a lifetime because that is what it has been to me over<br />

the last six years,” said Dr Honeywill. “And I have been blessed to<br />

work with extraordinary and inspirational artists.”<br />

The exhibition explores the resurgence of mid-century<br />

modern architecture and design, not only in Palm Springs and<br />

nearby Joshua Tree in the US but also in Australian locations<br />

such as Mt Eliza, Canberra and Mermaid Beach, to name a few.<br />

STUNNING: ‘Late Afternoon Sprinklers’, 2021, by Vicki Stavrou.<br />

Artists featured are American artists Darren Bradley, Jim<br />

Isermann, Troy Kudlac, Lance O’Donnell and Kim Stringfellow,<br />

complemented by Australian artists Gosia Wlodarczak, Kate<br />

Ballis, Tom Blachford, Sam Cranstoun, Anna Carey, Paul Davies,<br />

Rosi Griffin, Vicki Stravrou and Robyn Sweaney.<br />

Dr Honeywill will lead a curator’s<br />

talk from 2-3pm on Saturday<br />

<strong>December</strong> 9. The presentation will<br />

outline the themes of the Lost in Palm<br />

Springs exhibition and provide insight<br />

into the development of its curation.<br />

In 2015, Dr Honeywill undertook a<br />

research trip to Palm Springs to look<br />

at the mid-century modern architecture<br />

for which the desert city is<br />

famed. Inspired by what she found<br />

she went on to complete three artist<br />

residencies – 2017, 2018 and 2019 –<br />

the findings of which have become<br />

part of the touring exhibition.<br />

Greer Honeywill lives and works in<br />

Melbourne. She holds a PhD in Fine Art from Monash University<br />

(2003) for which she was awarded the Mollie Holman Doctoral<br />

Medal for academic excellence, and she holds a PhD in Art from<br />

the School of Creative Arts, University of Tasmania (2015).<br />

Lost in Palm Springs is a showcase for anyone interested in<br />

mid-century modern architecture and its influence on contemporary<br />

culture.<br />

In <strong>2023</strong>–2026, the exhibition will travel to 12 regional centres<br />

in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and<br />

Tasmania.<br />

– Nigel Wall<br />

*More info magam.com.au<br />

PHOTO: Courtesy of the artist and Anthea Polson Gallery<br />

54 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Local Author Q&A<br />

Inspiration for a<br />

Golden Gap Year<br />

Author, GP and advocate for positive ageing Joanna Nell<br />

shares her inspiration for her fifth bestselling novel ‘Mrs<br />

Winterbottom takes a Gap Year’; how she kickstarts her writing<br />

day with a walk; and why you shouldn’t be alarmed if you<br />

catch her talking to herself. Interview by Lisa Offord<br />

Books<br />

Q: Tell us about yourself<br />

and your connection to the<br />

Northern Beaches…<br />

I grew up in a small market<br />

town in the middle of England<br />

where my father owned a shop<br />

and my mother worked as a<br />

hairdresser. I was the first<br />

person in my family to go to<br />

university and qualified as a<br />

doctor in 1991. My husband<br />

and I moved to the Northern<br />

Beaches 20 years ago with our<br />

two small children after he<br />

was seconded here with his<br />

job. We were supposed to stay<br />

for a year but naturally, we fell<br />

in love with this tiny corner of<br />

paradise and stayed to raise<br />

our two children William and<br />

Charlotte here, becoming proud<br />

Australian citizens in 2011. I<br />

worked as a doctor at Mona Vale<br />

Emergency Department from<br />

2003 to 2013 and following<br />

that as a GP in several practices<br />

on the Northern Beaches. My<br />

husband runs a small marine<br />

business from the Royal Prince<br />

Alfred Yacht Club in Newport.<br />

Although I’d wanted to be a<br />

writer since I was a child, I only<br />

enrolled in my first creative<br />

writing course in my late 40s<br />

after a freak tenpin bowling<br />

accident forced me to take six<br />

weeks off work. I published my<br />

first novel, ‘The Single Ladies of<br />

Jacaranda Retirement Village’,<br />

at the age of 52.<br />

Q: What inspired you to<br />

write your latest book ‘Mrs<br />

Winterbottom takes a Gap<br />

Year’?<br />

The idea began with a<br />

conversation I had with my<br />

husband about our plans for<br />

retirement. His dream was<br />

to sell up, buy a big boat and<br />

sail off into the sunset, while I<br />

had always envisaged moving<br />

to a cottage in the country.<br />

Fortunately, we still have time<br />

to negotiate whether we go for<br />

a sea change or a tree change;<br />

but I pictured a couple who<br />

had always assumed they<br />

shared the same vision, only<br />

to discover once they had<br />

retired that they want very<br />

different things from this new<br />

chapter in life. By making my<br />

main character a doctor, I also<br />

wanted to explore what life<br />

would be like without the job<br />

that has always been so much<br />

part of my own identity.<br />

Q: How did it all come<br />

together?<br />

The planning stage of this<br />

book (several weeks in 2021)<br />

coincided with my daughter<br />

studying Ancient History and<br />

Classics in her first year at uni,<br />

so I have her to thank for the<br />

Greek theme, and the weaving<br />

of Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ into the<br />

plot. The actual writing took<br />

about a year, during which<br />

I wrote about half a dozen<br />

drafts before the manuscript<br />

was ready to submit to my<br />

agent, followed by<br />

another 6 to 12<br />

months of edits<br />

with the publisher,<br />

and everything<br />

else that goes<br />

into preparing<br />

the book for<br />

publication.<br />

Q: When and<br />

where do you<br />

write?<br />

A typical<br />

writing day always starts<br />

with a walk. I find that the<br />

creativity only begins to flow<br />

only once my brain has cleared<br />

the mental ‘inbox’, and there is<br />

something about the rhythm<br />

of walking that helps me to<br />

focus. I often walk along Ocean<br />

Road at Palm Beach with my<br />

black Labrador Margot (I’m the<br />

one talking to myself as I try<br />

out lines of dialogue), followed<br />

by a coffee at my favourite<br />

café, 2108. Unfortunately,<br />

Margot is 14 now and slowing<br />

up, but thanks to her monthly<br />

arthritis injection at Bilgola<br />

Vet Clinic, she still enjoys her<br />

walks. I write for the rest of the<br />

morning, depending on how<br />

the words are flowing – on a<br />

good day I can write 3000 or<br />

more, on a bad day it’s closer to<br />

zero – then edit or do admin in<br />

the afternoon when the Muse<br />

packs up and heads home.<br />

Q: Any interesting feedback<br />

from readers?<br />

I’ve been surprised how many<br />

women have told me they are<br />

married to an Alan, and how<br />

many have already had or are<br />

considering taking a golden<br />

gap year!<br />

Q: Anything else to add?<br />

People often ask me why my<br />

novels tend to feature mature<br />

characters. The United Nations<br />

has declared 2021-2030 the<br />

decade of healthy ageing, with<br />

a focus on combating ageism.<br />

Not only do I believe that we<br />

become more interesting as<br />

we age, but I also hope that<br />

in highlighting the everyday<br />

challenges faced by older<br />

people, the books might<br />

help raise awareness of age<br />

prejudice in a light-hearted and<br />

entertaining way.<br />

*‘Mrs Winterbottom takes a<br />

Gap Year’ is available where<br />

all good books are sold.<br />

56 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Health & Wellbeing<br />

Margery’s story highlights<br />

importance of defibrillators<br />

Health & Wellbeing<br />

In May, Margery Filmer was brought<br />

back to life after suffering a cardiac arrest<br />

at her doctor’s surgery. Now Margery and<br />

the emergency responders who saved<br />

her are determined to share the role a<br />

defibrillator played in that live-saving<br />

event, and let people know where other<br />

‘defibs’ are located on the Beaches…<br />

now including Newport Bowling Club.<br />

The last thing Margery<br />

Filmer can remember<br />

before she “died” for<br />

15 minutes, is pulling up her<br />

jumper for an injection at<br />

her doctor’s surgery, then<br />

experiencing “the strangest<br />

feeling she’d ever had” in<br />

her 79 years, together with<br />

the brief thought that “this<br />

is what it must be like”. The<br />

next thing she can recall<br />

after her heart had stopped<br />

for a quarter of an hour is<br />

being carried down the stairs<br />

by firemen.<br />

By then she had nine<br />

broken ribs sustained<br />

during her resuscitation;<br />

but had been miraculously<br />

brought back to life by quick<br />

responders led by Newport<br />

Doctor surgery GP Erin<br />

Noonan.<br />

“I’ve just had such a sense<br />

of gratitude since then,” says<br />

Margery. “I feel lucky to be<br />

alive every day.”<br />

The same goes for her<br />

family.<br />

“Mum’s always been the<br />

centre of our lives,” says<br />

daughter Blondie, “but even<br />

more so now. We always<br />

make events in our lives<br />

special, but Christmas will be<br />

even more special this year.”<br />

For those who believe<br />

coincidences are perhaps<br />

divine intervention,<br />

Margery’s cardiac arrest<br />

provides great support for<br />

the cause.<br />

Dr Noonan’s colleague<br />

Dr Julian Northover – happy<br />

to be known as Julian – isn’t<br />

normally at the Newport<br />

Doctor clinic on the day of<br />

the week Margery had her<br />

cardiac arrest. Crucially,<br />

further increasing the odds<br />

of a favourable outcome was<br />

the fact a defibrillator was<br />

also present – and Julian<br />

had just returned from two<br />

days’ military training in<br />

resuscitation with The Army<br />

School of Health.<br />

This ‘perfect storm’ was<br />

literally a life-saver.<br />

In November, Erin and<br />

Julian were on hand at a<br />

small ceremony as Margery<br />

handed over a donated<br />

defibrillator to Newport<br />

Bowling Club, in recognition<br />

of her survival, with the<br />

venue nominated because<br />

she is a member of the club<br />

where she plays mahjong and<br />

rummy.<br />

The defib is one of many<br />

located on the Northern<br />

Beaches – including at all<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong>-region surf life<br />

saving clubs and soon at<br />

key bus stop locations<br />

at Newport, Mona Vale,<br />

Warriewood, Narrabeen and<br />

Collaroy – and the doctors<br />

are quick to give credit to its<br />

role in saving Margery’s life.<br />

“The key to saving<br />

someone’s life when they go<br />

into cardiac arrest is early<br />

CPR and to get a defib on –<br />

ideally within five minutes,”<br />

emphasises Julian. “If<br />

somebody goes into arrest<br />

away from hospital and a<br />

defib is not present, then<br />

they only have a 7% survival<br />

rate. With CPR and a defib,<br />

this can increase to 75%.<br />

“And every minute that<br />

there is a delay in getting a<br />

defib on after cardiac arrest,<br />

there is a 10% increase in<br />

death rate.<br />

“Don’t be scared, just get<br />

on with it.”<br />

Julian points out that there<br />

is a difference between a<br />

heart attack and cardiac<br />

arrest, and it is the cardiac<br />

arrest which requires a<br />

defibrillator. Signs of a heart<br />

attack include pain in the<br />

chest, difficulty breathing,<br />

nausea, and feeling lightheaded;<br />

while cardiac arrest<br />

symptoms are those of being<br />

unconscious, unresponsive<br />

and an absence of – or<br />

abnormal – breathing.<br />

NSW Health is the best<br />

website to visit for details on<br />

symptoms and treatments,<br />

with the consistent<br />

messaging of ‘Call, Push,<br />

Shock’ being one that Julian<br />

is very keen to hammer<br />

home. He also highly<br />

commends the training<br />

offered by The Army School<br />

of Health.<br />

“Their training can help<br />

the community to better deal<br />

with cardiac arrest and save<br />

people’s lives.”<br />

Certainly Margery, her<br />

husband Dave, and her<br />

daughters, grandchildren and<br />

many friends will be forever<br />

grateful to the Army, the<br />

defibrillator, Erin and Julian<br />

and his practice at Newport.<br />

Five months on Margery<br />

looks the picture of health;<br />

but she knows how close<br />

she was to not making it to<br />

another Christmas.<br />

“I felt lucky to be alive<br />

from the moment I realised<br />

58 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

SECOND CHANCE: Julian and Erin with Margery and the new Newport<br />

Bowling Club-based defibrillator.<br />

PHOTO: Rob Pegley<br />

what had happened,” shares<br />

Margery. “The ribs were<br />

painful for three months and<br />

my confidence was knocked –<br />

I wondered if it would happen<br />

again. And it may, but I have a<br />

pacemaker and a defib fitted<br />

and I’m going to live life to<br />

the full.”<br />

Not only will Christmas<br />

be a great celebration, but<br />

Margery’s 80th birthday<br />

will be another event to be<br />

thankful for. – Rob Pegley<br />

Health & Wellbeing<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 59

Health & Wellbeing<br />

with Dr John Kippen<br />

Health & Wellbeing<br />

Melanoma: monitoring<br />

is crucial in detection<br />

Melanoma is a skin cancer<br />

that usually occurs on<br />

the parts of the body<br />

that have been sun-exposed.<br />

They can however occur in<br />

parts of the skin or body that<br />

have never been exposed to<br />

the sun.<br />

Melanoma is the fourth most<br />

common cancer diagnosed in<br />

Australia; Melanoma is more<br />

common in men than women.<br />

The risk of being diagnosed<br />

with melanoma by age 85 is 1<br />

in 13 for men and 1 in 22 for<br />

women.<br />

In 2014, some 13,134 new<br />

cases of melanoma were diagnosed<br />

in Australia. In Australia<br />

in 2015, there were 1520 deaths<br />

due to melanoma.<br />

Treatment may involve surgery,<br />

radiation, medication or<br />

in some cases, chemotherapy.<br />

Monitoring and detection is<br />

crucial.<br />

You should:<br />

• Look for new spots or spots<br />

that change or grow, including<br />

moles and freckles. Also size,<br />

thickness and border.<br />

• Watch for sores that don’t<br />

heal or heal then return and<br />

crusting or flaking.<br />

• Be aware of spots or sores<br />

that change in sensation or are<br />

itchy, tender or painful.<br />

• Check everywhere. Melanoma<br />

can develop in places<br />

that do not get sun exposure.<br />

This includes under your arms,<br />

the soles of your feet, buttocks,<br />

under nails and genital areas.<br />

• Look for areas of concern<br />

when you shampoo, shower or<br />

apply lotion.<br />

• Monitor previous serious skin<br />

injuries, such as a major scar<br />

or burn.<br />

• Be aware of any personal or<br />

family history of skin cancer,<br />

including melanoma.<br />

Also important to consider:<br />

• History of actinic (solar)<br />

keratoses. These are precancerous<br />

lesions.<br />

• Immunosuppression, typically<br />

due to taking immunosuppressive<br />

drugs.<br />

• Familial Atypical Multiple<br />

Mole Melanoma Syndrome<br />

(FAMMMS).<br />

• Certain rare genetic disorders,<br />

including xeroderma<br />

pigmentosum and basal cell<br />

nevus syndrome.<br />

Factors that may put you at<br />

increased risk for skin cancer:<br />

• Ultraviolet (UV) light exposure:<br />

Extensive lifetime sun<br />

exposure or occasional intense<br />

exposure, sunburn<br />

• Tanning bed use.<br />

• Age: The longer you are<br />

exposed, the higher your risk of<br />

developing a skin cancer.<br />

• Having a fair complexion,<br />

blonde or red hair, freckles,<br />

blue eyes and/or a tendency to<br />

sunburn.<br />

• Having 50 or more moles.<br />

Our columnist<br />

Dr John Kippen is a qualified,<br />

fully certified consultant<br />

specialist in Cosmetic, Plastic<br />

and Reconstructive surgery.<br />

Australian trained, he<br />

also has additional<br />

Australian and International<br />

Fellowships. He welcomes<br />

enquiries; email<br />

doctor@johnkippen.com.au<br />

New<br />

psychologist<br />

Multi-service Newport<br />

medical practice<br />

Newport Doctor has<br />

welcomed psychologist<br />

Ana Nikibin to the team<br />

available to provide<br />

immediate support.<br />

Ana (pictured), is a<br />

registered psychologist<br />

with the Psychology Board<br />

of Australia.<br />

Ana has extensive<br />

experience working in<br />

the mental health field,<br />

including the disability<br />

sector, psychiatric<br />

settings in private mental<br />

health hospitals, as well<br />

as working with children<br />

providing behaviour<br />

supports.<br />

Specialising in evidencebased<br />

treatments and<br />

tailoring her approach<br />

to the individual’s needs<br />

and goals, Ana works with<br />

clients who present with<br />

anxiety, depression, grief,<br />

trauma, substance abuse<br />

and stress/burnout.<br />

*For more info or to<br />

book an appointment<br />

call 9997 4441;<br />

newportdoctor.com.au<br />

60 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Call for retiree aged care workers<br />

The nation’s retirees should be able to return<br />

to work without losing pension and other<br />

retirement benefits – and pay tax like everyone<br />

else – to help fix a critical workforce shortage<br />

in the aged care sector.<br />

That’s the message from HammondCare CEO<br />

and former NSW Premier Mike Baird, who has<br />

called for reforms to pension and superannuation<br />

rules.<br />

Mr Baird called for the change in a speech<br />

to the Aged and Community Care Providers<br />

Association (ACCPA) national conference in<br />

November.<br />

He said it was time to make it easier for older<br />

people of pension age who wanted to work to<br />

do so.<br />

“Given that the aged care sector is crying<br />

out for workers, while also facing an upcoming<br />

tsunami of demand, it’s high time we make it<br />

easier for older workers to step back in from<br />

retirement,” Mr Baird said.<br />

“Even though one in five retirees would<br />

consider re-entering the workforce – a valuable<br />

group of people with a lifetime of skills and<br />

experience – there are several barriers for them<br />

to negotiate,” he said.<br />

“Apart from ageism and sometimes a need to<br />

upskill, especially digitally, the bigger ones are<br />

the pension and superannuation rules.”<br />

Mr Baird said broadly speaking pensioners<br />

lost around 50 cents of their fortnightly pension<br />

for every dollar earned over the income<br />

INITIATIVE: Mike Baird with aged care residents.<br />

threshold. He added that working too much<br />

over consecutive fortnights could lead to the<br />

pension quickly reducing, and reinstating the<br />

pension was never as quick.<br />

Medication subsidies could be lost, and partner<br />

pensions could also be reduced or lost.<br />

“One solution could be to exempt employment<br />

income completely for aged care workers<br />

(and other sectors that have a critical workforce<br />

shortage) from the aged pension income<br />

test,” he said.<br />

A recent report by the Commonwealth<br />

Committee for Economic Development, Duty<br />

of care: Meeting the aged care workforce challenge,<br />

estimated the aged care sector needed<br />

at least 17,000 more direct aged-care workers<br />

each year in the next decade just to meet basic<br />

standards of care.<br />

– Nigel Wall<br />

Health & Wellbeing<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 61

Health & Wellbeing<br />

with Rowena Beckenham<br />

Health & Wellbeing<br />

Educating patients is key to<br />

getting great vision outcomes<br />

Educating patients in<br />

the consult room is<br />

an important part of<br />

every health professional’s<br />

responsibility. Sharing<br />

knowledge and empowering<br />

decision making from<br />

individuals is key to great<br />

outcomes for both preventative<br />

health strategies and for<br />

chronic health management in<br />

eye-care.<br />

Time taken in an eye<br />

examination to understand the<br />

needs of the patient – whether<br />

it be their concerns in relation<br />

to failing near vision, their<br />

frustration with glare from<br />

headlights when driving at<br />

night, their interest in a new<br />

option for vision correction,<br />

or worry about relatives who<br />

require intervention for vision<br />

threatening conditions for<br />

example – should all be open<br />

to discussion. In the age of<br />

fast information, qualified<br />

professionals become a valued<br />

resource in the dissemination<br />

of options and best solutions.<br />

Crucial to education, are the<br />

use of tools in explanation.<br />

Thankfully we live in an era<br />

where technology has enabled<br />

the opportunity to image and<br />

scan eyes to an unprecedented<br />

level to show patients exactly<br />

what is happening in their eyes<br />

over time. Seeing sequential<br />

images of advancing pterygia<br />

(tuh-rij-ee-uh), the fleshy<br />

growth on the surface of<br />

the eye from UV damage,<br />

encourages patients to<br />

increase vigilance on wearing<br />

sunglasses and hats and use of<br />

lubricant drops. Highlighting<br />

changes in the eye that may<br />

indicate cardiovascular risk,<br />

encourages patients to follow<br />

up with their GPs for general<br />

health reviews.<br />

With this in mind, continuity<br />

of care is essential for best<br />

outcomes and when patients<br />

move to a new area, having<br />

a history from a previous<br />

practitioner becomes an<br />

important resource and is<br />

available at the patient’s<br />

request. The use of images<br />

and scans that are invaluable<br />

in educating patients who<br />

have ocular disease, are also<br />

important in demonstrating to<br />

patients why we recommend<br />

that they be seen for annual<br />

eye health exams even without<br />

noticeable changes in vision.<br />

During exams I am reviewing<br />

and educating on imaging,<br />

scans, visual field results and<br />

other assessments. I also love<br />

the ability to show images<br />

of the patient’s own lids and<br />

lashes, in addition to foreign<br />

bodies in the eye to illustrate<br />

why they feel the way they do.<br />

My eye model is always handy,<br />

as well, to explain conditions<br />

like vitreous detachment<br />

and why follow-up care is<br />

important, or to explain how<br />

cataracts affect vision and why<br />

they may need surgery.<br />

Part of education can also<br />

be cultivating curiosity. For<br />

example, if I see that a patient<br />

has a particular symptom,<br />

caused by a particular issue,<br />

and can demonstrate that in<br />

some way, they get curious<br />

about what is causing it<br />

and how to fix it. Patient<br />

care, when done well, is<br />

a partnership between<br />

optometrist and patient.<br />

When I complete an exam<br />

I let patients know that they<br />

are welcome to text or call<br />

the office with additional<br />

questions. Often, my team<br />

can address those questions<br />

without my input, but they<br />

will pass questions along to<br />

me that need my attention.<br />

My team also carries on the<br />

conversation about topics<br />

like daily disposable contacts,<br />

myopia control, dry eye<br />

treatments and migraine tints.<br />

They have all experienced<br />

those treatments and<br />

recommendations themselves,<br />

so they can be a great source<br />

of advice.<br />

Rowena has been practising<br />

at Beckenham Optometrist in<br />

Avalon for 24 years. Whether<br />

it be in Avalon alongside<br />

valued colleagues Rebecca<br />

Thompson and Stephanie<br />

Ng, teaching eyecare<br />

nurses and teachers in a<br />

remote clinic in rural Sumba<br />

Indonesia, or helping direct<br />

the future of independent<br />

optometry in her role<br />

as Chair of the board of<br />

Provision, the passion for<br />

vision, eyes and the people<br />

behind the eyes is there.<br />

62 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Hair & Beauty<br />

with Sue Carroll<br />

Summer party… check; skin<br />

ready… check… RSVP… Yes!<br />

We are officially in the<br />

thick of the summer<br />

holiday party season<br />

and heading towards the giftgiving<br />

time of the year; and<br />

who better to start giving to?<br />

Yes, it is you!<br />

A naturopath and friend told<br />

me many years ago when your<br />

well is dry and you try giving,<br />

you are giving from nothing,<br />

and it is exhausting. Give to<br />

yourself, top up your well and<br />

give quality all around. This can<br />

be as simple as starting with<br />

giving to your skin. Be radiant<br />

and healthy and feel amazing<br />

for the never-ending parties<br />

and summer fun.<br />

The outdated thought is we<br />

cannot do many treatments in<br />

the summer, as it can make our<br />

skin sun sensitive. Along with<br />

this, it’s challenging to have<br />

downtime, as we have places to<br />

go and people to see. There are<br />

many skin treatments that will<br />

provide healthy, rejuvenated<br />

skin that will help us show off<br />

the best version of ourselves.<br />

The Carbon Facial – also<br />

known as the ‘Hollywood’ or<br />

‘China Doll’ skin treatment – is<br />

fast, has no downtime, and<br />

will leave the skin refined and<br />

glowing. This cutting-edge<br />

procedure combines a medicalgrade<br />

carbon serum with a<br />

complexion toning laser. This<br />

treatment is specially designed<br />

to address a variety of skin<br />

concerns which include large<br />

pores, dullness, congestion,<br />

active acne and uneven texture.<br />

The carbon serum is gently<br />

massaged into the skin and the<br />

laser is used to heat and absorb<br />

the carbon which is popped<br />

off along with the oil, bacteria<br />

and debris in the pores as well<br />

as the superficial layer of skin<br />

across the face. There is no<br />

downtime and can be repeated<br />

as soon as 2 weeks for a better<br />

result. This treatment can be<br />

taken to the next level with<br />

the addition of LED and/or a<br />

JetPeel infusion with nourishing<br />

peptides and antioxidants.<br />

Laser Genesis facial<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

treatment allows the skin<br />

to return with a noticeable<br />

glow without unwanted side<br />

effects such as bruising and<br />

skin irritation. Laser energy<br />

distributes gentle heat to<br />

the upper layers of the skin,<br />

stimulating collagen regrowth.<br />

Laser GenQ will benefit those<br />

looking to fade scar tissue,<br />

treat fine lines, promote healthy<br />

skin and restore a youthful<br />

glow. This treatment is not<br />

ideal if you are vacationing in<br />

the sun. It can be repeated as<br />

soon as 2 weeks, depending<br />

on the results you want to<br />

achieve. There can be slight<br />

redness immediately after the<br />

treatment and this will dissipate<br />

overnight.<br />

HIFU Glow is a fantastic<br />

treatment using a mild, highintensity,<br />

focused ultrasound<br />

wavelength. It treats the top<br />

layer of the skin, with results<br />

being seen as soon as a week.<br />

The full HIFU treatment goes as<br />

deep as 4.5mm for the lifting<br />

and firming results. The HIFU<br />

Glow will treat 1.5mm into the<br />

skin, meaning, treating the<br />

epidermis or top layer of the<br />

skin for the party radiance. A<br />

gentle warmth can be felt which<br />

is very relaxing. When teamed<br />

with either microdermabrasion,<br />

a dermal peel, LED, Bioptron<br />

light therapy or a JetPeel<br />

infusion, the results are nothing<br />

short of red-carpet-ready.<br />

Of course, the tried-andtrue<br />

high-performance facial<br />

treatments are high-touch<br />

rather than high-tech. You can<br />

step this up several notches<br />

when combining the two<br />

modalities; the results and the<br />

relaxation cannot be surpassed.<br />

It can be compared to taking<br />

yourself away on a vacation<br />

of relaxation and pampering,<br />

the jaw-clenching stops, the<br />

breathing becomes deeper,<br />

and your cares are removed for<br />

at least an hour or two. This<br />

makes you more relaxed and<br />

radiant.<br />

Get ready to say YES to your<br />

RSVPs. Escape from the holiday<br />

summer hustle and start by<br />

giving to yourself and receive<br />

the gift of healthy glowing skin.<br />

Be the best version of you, not a<br />

different version.<br />

Sue Carroll is at the forefront<br />

of the beauty, wellness<br />

and para-medical profession<br />

with 35 years’ experience on<br />

Sydney’s Northern Beaches.<br />

She leads a dedicated team<br />

of professionals who are<br />

passionate about results for<br />

men and women.<br />

info@skininspiration.com.au<br />

www.skininspiration.com.au<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 63<br />

Hair & Beauty

Business <strong>Life</strong>: Money<br />

with Brian Hrnjak<br />

Business <strong>Life</strong><br />

Class discussion: who’s stuck<br />

in the ‘middle’ with who?<br />

This month we reflect on<br />

the year just passed and<br />

recommend setting aside<br />

some time over the break to<br />

check how your finances are<br />

positioned relative to the changing<br />

times.<br />

It may be my age but as I get<br />

older the pace of life seems to<br />

be quickening. Think about the<br />

sources of noise we deal with<br />

today – television, radio, press,<br />

post, email, phone calls, text<br />

messages, internet and social<br />

media in all its forms. There are<br />

days in the office when it seems<br />

all of them go off simultaneously.<br />

I haven’t known it to be<br />

any other way since I started my<br />

working life in 1987 and I expect<br />

it will never moderate.<br />

This year, like many others<br />

before, the foundations of the<br />

financial system feel like they<br />

shifted. Just as it did when I<br />

started working in 1987 with<br />

a stock market crash, or, 1991<br />

with a severe recession, or, in<br />

1997 with the Asian Financial<br />

Crisis, or, in 2001 with the World<br />

Trade Centre bombing, or, SARS<br />

in 2003 and the subprime crisis<br />

in 2007 which led to the GFC<br />

from 2007 to 2009, or, in 2011<br />

with the loss of the US AAA<br />

credit rating and the Euro crisis,<br />

or, in 2016 when we had Brexit<br />

and the election of Trump, or, in<br />

2020 with COVID-19 and more<br />

recently the war in Ukraine in<br />

2022, until this year with the war<br />

in Israel being our latest geopolitical<br />

crisis.<br />

If we had to categorise <strong>2023</strong><br />

from the sheer number of headlines,<br />

it would have to be the<br />

year of the cost-of-living crisis.<br />

No other phrase dominated<br />

the media so completely this<br />

year. No other issue in recent<br />

times, short of COVID, has been<br />

blamed for affecting the fortunes<br />

of so many. Cost of living<br />

is why the yes vote of the voice<br />

referendum failed, cost of living<br />

is why the political fortunes of<br />

a first-term government have<br />

headed southward, cost of living<br />

is why no-one under 30 can afford<br />

a house. Cost of living is being<br />

blamed for the demise of the<br />

middle classes – yes, seriously.<br />

Victoria Devine writing in the<br />

SMH says so: ‘Australia, once<br />

hailed as the land of opportunity<br />

and the epitome of a fair go, is<br />

witnessing an uncomfortable<br />

shift in its socio-economic landscape.<br />

The middle class, once the<br />

backbone of the nation, is rapidly<br />

diminishing, raising concerns<br />

about a potential decline in our<br />

collective standard of living. The<br />

idyllic image of the quarter-acre<br />

block and the Aussie dream is<br />

fading, replaced by a growing<br />

cost-of-living crisis that is reshaping<br />

our society. In the heyday of<br />

Australia’s prosperity, the allure<br />

of a quarter-acre block symbolised<br />

so much more than just a<br />

piece of land. It encapsulated the<br />

promise that hard work, whether<br />

white collar or not would be<br />

rewarded with a comfortable<br />

lifestyle. However, the harsh reality<br />

of today’s economic climate is<br />

currently painting us a very different<br />

picture. The middle class,<br />

once synonymous with stability<br />

and prosperity, is grappling with<br />

the stark reality of a shrinking<br />

existence.’<br />

It may be premature to call<br />

64 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

the demise of the middle class<br />

purely based on this most recent<br />

phase of rising interest rates and<br />

inflation. It is true that consumer<br />

confidence when measured by<br />

any of the big 4 banks’ economists<br />

is in the doldrums. Some<br />

say worse than the GFC, others<br />

say as bad as during the 1991<br />

recession.<br />

Devine admits that her view of<br />

the quarter-acre-block-dwelling,<br />

middle-class-of-the-past may<br />

be something she is looking at<br />

through rose-coloured glasses.<br />

In the 1970s, middle class was<br />

‘meat and three veg every<br />

night, no dining out and a single<br />

television in a household was<br />

a luxury.’ We also didn’t travel<br />

as much, get an MRI for a sore<br />

pinkie or have anywhere near as<br />

many foreign cars on our roads.<br />

When I wrote earlier that the<br />

foundations of the financial system<br />

have shifted, I was referring<br />

to an investment climate now<br />

dominated by 13 interest rate<br />

rises between May 2022 and<br />

today. The last time rates were<br />

at this level was in <strong>December</strong><br />

2008. This was followed by a<br />

period of almost a decade when<br />

real rates (after deducting inflation)<br />

were zero or negative. This<br />

is the reversion to the mean that<br />

was always going to happen<br />

regardless of how many times<br />

people thought ‘it’s different this<br />

time’.<br />

In this current investment climate<br />

things that were shunned<br />

during the decade of low or<br />

negative rates are now attractive<br />

– cash for example can<br />

be invested at a rate over 5%<br />

p.a. which is equivalent to the<br />

minimum pension drawdown<br />

requirement for account-based<br />

pensions. Bank-issued hybrid<br />

securities can give floating rate<br />

returns of more than 7% p.a.<br />

after franking.<br />

Some of the securities popular<br />

during the ‘hunt for yield phase’<br />

of the past 10 years are suffering<br />

under these new conditions. The<br />

price of some equities, real estate<br />

investment trusts and bonds<br />

will be affected until after the<br />

peak of the rate cycle.<br />

The investment environment<br />

is dominated by discussion<br />

about the levels and directions<br />

of inflation and interest rates but<br />

there are many parts to the concerns<br />

faced by investors: wars<br />

in Ukraine and Israel, cold war<br />

in the Pacific, cyber threats, the<br />

impacts of Artificial Intelligence,<br />

large-scale climatic events, the<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

transition from fossil fuels to renewables,<br />

commodity prices and<br />

demand, the risks of recession<br />

and unemployment as a result<br />

of rate rises. There’s plenty to<br />

worry about.<br />

In Australia there is little<br />

doubt that we are currently in<br />

a retail recession. Our economics<br />

offer up a confusing mix of<br />

higher interest rates at the same<br />

time as strong employment.<br />

High levels of immigration along<br />

with low supply of property for<br />

sale have kept real estate prices<br />

elevated and concerns regarding<br />

the impacts fixed rate home<br />

loans resetting to higher rates<br />

(the so- called fiscal cliff) have<br />

been met by banks and borrowers<br />

in their stride.<br />

The most economically exposed<br />

are those renting or carrying<br />

large mortgages; the rest<br />

have been immune while some<br />

have even benefited from higher<br />

returns on cash holdings. This<br />

generally means the younger<br />

demographic have fared the<br />

worst. The luckiest ones will<br />

have mum and dad to call on<br />

for support; the others will<br />

do what it takes until the rate<br />

needle turns down again. Aside<br />

from the 10-year doldrum for<br />

interest rates between 2012 and<br />

2022, there has been a cycle<br />

of rise and fall since rates were<br />

invented – it didn’t kill off Australia’s<br />

middle class before and I<br />

doubt it will now, it is a resilient<br />

demographic.<br />

For investors who regularly<br />

adjust their holdings now is<br />

one of those rare times when a<br />

significant uptick in rates has<br />

not resulted in a material market<br />

downturn. Investors do have the<br />

opportunity to take some risk<br />

off the table by taking profits<br />

and parking funds into more<br />

defensive term deposits or floating<br />

rate securities.<br />

Brian Hrnjak B Bus CPA (FPS) is<br />

a Director of GHR Accounting<br />

Group Pty Ltd, Certified Practising<br />

Accountants. Office: Suite 12,<br />

Ground Floor, 20 Bungan Street<br />

Mona Vale NSW.<br />

Phone: 02 9979-4300.<br />

Web: ghr.com.au and altre.com.au<br />

Email: brian@ghr.com.au<br />

These comments are general<br />

advice only and are not intended as<br />

a substitute for professional advice.<br />

This article is not an offer or<br />

recommendation of any securities<br />

or other financial products offered<br />

by any company or person.<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 65<br />

Business <strong>Life</strong>

Trades & Services<br />

Trades & Services<br />


Alliance Climate Control<br />

Call 02 9186 4179<br />

Air Conditioning & Electrical<br />

Professionals. Specialists in Air<br />

Conditioning Installation, Service,<br />

Repair & Replacement.<br />


Battery Business<br />

Call 9970 6999<br />

Batteries for all applications. Won’t<br />

be beaten on price or service. Free<br />

testing, 7 days.<br />


Acecase Pty Ltd<br />

Call Dan 0419 160 883<br />

Professional building and carpentry<br />

services, renovations, decks, pergolas.<br />

Fully licensed & insured. Local<br />

business operating for 25 years. Lic<br />

No. 362901C<br />


Able Carpentry & Joinery<br />

Call Cameron 0418 608 398<br />

Avalon-based. Doors & locks, timber<br />

gates & handrails, decking repairs and<br />

timber replacement. Also privacy screens.<br />

25 years’ experience. Lic: 7031C.<br />


Amazing Clean<br />

Call Andrew 0412 475 2871<br />

Specialists in blinds, curtains and<br />

awnings. Clean, repair, supply new.<br />

All NB Pressure Clean<br />

Call 0416 215 095<br />

Driveways, paths, garden walls, awnings,<br />

house wash.<br />


Adrians Concrete<br />

Call Adrian 0404 172 435<br />

Driveways, paths, slabs… all your<br />

concreting needs; Northern Beachesbased.<br />


Alliance Service Group<br />

Call Adrian 9063 4658<br />

All services & repairs, 24hr. Lighting<br />

installation, switchboard upgrade.<br />

Seniors discount 5%.<br />

DISCLAIMER: The editorial and advertising content in<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> has been provided by a number of sources. Any<br />

opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Editor or<br />

Publisher of <strong>Pittwater</strong> <strong>Life</strong> and no responsibility is taken for<br />

the accuracy of the information contained within. Readers<br />

should make their own enquiries directly to any organisations<br />

or businesses prior to making any plans or taking any action.<br />

66 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Eamon Dowling Electrical<br />

Call Eamon 0410 457 373<br />

For all electrical needs including<br />

phone, TV and data. <strong>Pittwater</strong>-based.<br />

Reliable; quality service guaranteed.<br />

Warrick Leggo<br />

Call Warrick 0403 981 941<br />

Specialising in domestic work; small<br />

jobs welcome. Seniors’ discount;<br />

Narrabeen-based.<br />


Blue Tongue Carpets<br />

Call Stephan or Roslyn 9979 7292<br />

Northern Beaches Flooring Centre<br />

has been family owned & run for over<br />

20 years. Carpets, Tiles, Timber,<br />

Laminates, Hybrids & Vinyls. Open 6<br />

days.<br />


!Abloom Ace Gardening<br />

Call 0415 817 880<br />

Full range of gardening services<br />

including landscaping, maintenance<br />

and rubbish removal.<br />

Conscious Gardener Avalon<br />

Call Matt 0411 750 791<br />

Professional local team offering<br />

quality garden maintenance,<br />

horticultural advice; also garden<br />

makeovers.<br />

Melaleuca Landscapes<br />

Call Sandy 0416 276 066<br />

Professional design and construction<br />

for every garden situation. Sustainable<br />

vegetable gardens and waterfront<br />

specialist.<br />

Precision Tree Services<br />

Call Adam 0410 736 105<br />

Adam Bridger; professional tree<br />

care by qualified arborists and tree<br />

surgeons.<br />


Cloud9 R&G<br />

Call Tommy 0447 999 929<br />

Prompt and reliable service; gutter<br />

cleaning and installation, leak detection,<br />

roof installation and painting. Also roof<br />

repairs specialist.<br />


Gold ‘n’ Things<br />

Call 9999 4991<br />

Specialists in remodelling. On-premises<br />

(Mona Vale) workshop for cleaning,<br />

repairing (including laser welding),<br />

polishing. Family owned for nearly 40 years.<br />


Hot Water Maintenance NB<br />

Call 9982 1265<br />

Local emergency specialists, 7 days.<br />

Sales, service, installation. Warranty<br />

agents, fully accredited.<br />


Collaroy Kitchen Centre<br />

Call 9972 9300<br />

Danish design excellence. Local<br />

beaches specialists in kitchens,<br />

bathrooms and joinery. Visit the<br />

showroom in Collaroy.<br />

Seabreeze Kitchens<br />

Call 9938 5477<br />

Specialists in all kitchen needs; design,<br />

fitting, consultation. Excellent trades.<br />


Avalon Physiotherapy<br />

Call 9918 3373<br />

Provide specialist treatment for neck &<br />

back pain, sports injuries, orthopaedic<br />

problems.<br />


Cloud9 Painting<br />

Call 0447 999 929<br />

Your one-stop shop for home or office<br />

painting; interiors, exteriors and also<br />

roof painting. Call for a quote.<br />

Tom Wood Master Painters<br />

Call 0406 824 189<br />

Residential specialists in new work &<br />

Trades & Services<br />

Ken Wilson Roofing<br />

Call 0419 466 783<br />

Leaking roofs, tile repairs, tiles<br />

replaced, metal roof repairs, gutter<br />

cleaning, valley irons replaced.<br />


Local Handyman<br />

Call Jono 0413 313299<br />

Small and medium-sized building<br />

jobs, also welding & metalwork;<br />

licensed.<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 67

Trades & Services<br />

Trades & Services<br />

repaints / interior & exterior. Premium<br />

paints; 17 years’ experience.<br />


Predator Pest Control<br />

Call 0417 276 962<br />

predatorpestcontrol.com.au<br />

Environmental services at their best.<br />

Comprehensive control. Eliminate all<br />

manner of pests.<br />


Total Pipe Relining<br />

Call Josh 0423 600 455<br />

Repair pipe problems without<br />

replacement. Drain systems fully<br />

relined; 50 years’ guaranty. Latest<br />

technology, best price.<br />


Jack’s Rubbish Removals<br />

Call Jack 0403 385 312<br />

Up to 45% cheaper than skips. Latest<br />

health regulations. Old-fashioned<br />

honesty & reliability. Free quotes.<br />

One 2 Dump<br />

Call Josh 0450 712 779<br />

Seven-days-a-week pick-up service<br />

includes general household rubbish,<br />

construction, commercial plus<br />

vegetation. Also car removals.<br />


Beautiful Sliding Door Repairs<br />

Call 0407 546 738<br />

Fix anything that slides in your home;<br />

door specialists – wooden / aluminium.<br />

Free quote. Same-day repair; 5-year<br />

warranty.<br />


Luxafoam North<br />

Call 0414 468 434<br />

Local specialists in all aspects of<br />

outdoor & indoor seating. Custom<br />

service, expert advice.<br />

Advertise<br />

your Business<br />

in Trades &<br />

Services section<br />

Ph: 0438 123 096<br />

68 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Trades & Services<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 69

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Puzzler<br />

Compiled by David Stickley<br />

28 Abandoned (7)<br />

29 Farewell (3-3)<br />

<strong>Pittwater</strong> Puzzler<br />

ACROSS<br />

1 Hamburger additions for<br />

hungry eaters (3,3)<br />

5 Those foodies who like to try a<br />

bit of everything (7)<br />

9 Courage, spirit (5)<br />

10 Any of various species of<br />

elongated, predacious, tropical<br />

and subtropical marine fishes (9)<br />

11 Most recent, or most up to<br />

date (6)<br />

12 Type of whale encountered<br />

by Jason Breen in the 18-down<br />

Basin (8)<br />

14 Professional superintendence<br />

of young kids (5,4)<br />

16 Equipment needed to propel<br />

rowing boats on <strong>Pittwater</strong> (4)<br />

19 Type of bread available at<br />

Curry By the Curve in Clareville,<br />

no doubt (4)<br />

20 Modern musical (4,5)<br />

22 Humourless (8)<br />

23 Fibre used in hatmaking (6)<br />

26 To do something without help<br />

or independently (2,2,5)<br />

27 Exceptionally bad or<br />

displeasing (5)<br />

DOWN<br />

2 A place frequently visited (5)<br />

3 Park in North Narrabeen that<br />

will be hosting The Link Church’s<br />

Christmas carols event (8)<br />

4 In surfing, the hollow of a wave<br />

as it breaks (4)<br />

5 An irregularly fluctuating flow<br />

of air or fluid (10)<br />

6 Mackellar’s Independent MP, Dr<br />

Sophie ______ (6)<br />

7 The picking up of litter in a<br />

camping area, school playground,<br />

etc., by a group of organised<br />

people (3,6)<br />

8 A very small, usually roughly<br />

built and poorly appointed<br />

house (5)<br />

9 Path that must be taken to reach<br />

the Coastal Environment Centre in<br />

North Narrabeen (7)<br />

13 Suburb that contains Mater<br />

Maria Catholic College (10)<br />

15 The Northern Beaches man<br />

behind Icehouse (3,6)<br />

17 A strong barrier in the ocean<br />

built to protect coastal properties<br />

(3,4)<br />

18 Northern Beaches suburb<br />

originally known as Bongin Bongin<br />

by local indigenous people (4,4)<br />

21 Large artworks that are a<br />

feature of 18-down (6)<br />

22 Encouraged (5)<br />

24 Number of years ago that The<br />

Big Swim from Palm Beach to<br />

Whale Beach started (5)<br />

25 Rosemary, basil, or thyme, for<br />

example (4)<br />

[Solution page 78]<br />

70 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Food <strong>Life</strong><br />

with Janelle Bloom<br />

Food <strong>Life</strong><br />

Recipes: janellebloom.com.au; Insta: instagram.com/janellegbloom/<br />

Six sensational ‘sides’ that<br />

can’t wait for Christmas...<br />

Christmas planning is well underway;<br />

now <strong>December</strong> has rolled around it’s all<br />

about the food! Our family have decided<br />

to keep it simple this year: a traditional warm<br />

glazed ham, fresh Aussie prawns – and then<br />

a focus on a selection of delectable ‘sides’.<br />

Roast potato,<br />

burrata salad with<br />

pesto dressing<br />

(Serves 8)<br />

2kg baby potatoes, skin on,<br />

washed, dried, halved<br />

3 tbs olive oil<br />

1 lemon, rind shredded, juiced<br />

1 tsp Dijon mustard<br />

1 tsp caster sugar<br />

1 cup basil leaves<br />

2 balls (150g each) burrata,<br />

drained<br />

Basil pesto dressing<br />

1 cup fresh basil leaves<br />

1 small garlic clove, grated<br />

¼ cup pine nuts, lightly<br />

toasted<br />

½ cup olive oil<br />

2 tbs red wine vinegar<br />

1. Place the potatoes into a<br />

large saucepan. Cover with<br />

cold water, add 1 tsp salt.<br />

Place over high heat, bring<br />

to the boil uncovered. Boil 3<br />

minutes. Drain well.<br />

2. Preheat oven to 220°C fanforced.<br />

Spoon the warm<br />

potatoes into the base of<br />

a greased roasting pan.<br />

Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of<br />

the oil, season. Turn to coat.<br />

Roast for 20-30 minutes or<br />

until golden and tender.<br />

3. Meanwhile, whisk the<br />

remaining 2 tablespoons oil,<br />

2 tablespoons lemon juice,<br />

sugar and Dijon together<br />

in a large bowl. Season and<br />

set aside. Add the roast<br />

potatoes to the dressing,<br />

toss gently to coat. Set aside<br />

to cool.<br />

4. For the dressing: place<br />

the basil, garlic and pine<br />

nuts in a food processor .<br />

Process until finely chopped.<br />

With the motor running,<br />

gradually add the oil in a<br />

thin steady stream until<br />

well combined. Remove to<br />

a bowl, stir in the vinegar. If<br />

the dressing is a little thick,<br />

thin with cold tap water.<br />

5. Spoon the potatoes onto<br />

a serving platter. Add<br />

the basil leaves. Tear the<br />

burrata into pieces and<br />

arrange over the potatoes<br />

with lemon rind. Spoon<br />

over the basil dressing just<br />

before serving.<br />

Janelle’s Tips: Make the<br />

dressing up to 3 days in<br />

advance. Spoon into a clean<br />

jar, cover the top with a layer<br />

of olive oil and keep in the<br />

fridge… Plus, this salad is<br />

delicious served warm (omit<br />

cooling potatoes in step 3).<br />

Dukkah roasted<br />

Broccolini with<br />

smashed chickpeas<br />

and tahini dressing<br />

(Serves 8)<br />

2 bunches Broccolini®<br />

200g Swiss brown or cup<br />

mushrooms, thickly sliced<br />

½ cup olive oil<br />

4 tbs hazelnut dukkah (see<br />

right)<br />

Colourful, fresh, easy and impressive is the<br />

brief. Sides seem to be most people’s Achilles<br />

heal – but it’s the part I love! Here are some<br />

of my favourites that are worth saving for<br />

Christmas and all your summer barbecues.<br />

Stay safe and enjoy the season ahead. – Janelle<br />

1 small garlic clove, crushed<br />

2 x 400g can chickpeas,<br />

drained, rinsed<br />

1 orange, rind finely grated,<br />

juiced<br />

80g baby spinach<br />

Tahini dressing<br />

¼ cup hulled tahini<br />

½ small garlic clove<br />

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil<br />

1 orange, juiced<br />

2 tsp maple syrup<br />

3-4 tbs warm water<br />

1 tsp sea salt flakes<br />

1. Preheat oven to 220°C.<br />

Place the broccolini and<br />

mushrooms into separate<br />

lightly greased roasting<br />

pans. Spoon 1 tablespoon<br />

of the oil over each pan.<br />

Sprinkle each pan with<br />

1 tablespoon of dukkah.<br />

Season with salt and<br />

pepper. Toss gently to coat.<br />

Roast for 12 minutes or until<br />

lightly charred. Cool.<br />

2. Meanwhile, place the garlic,<br />

chickpeas, orange rind,<br />

juice and remaining 1/3<br />

cup (80ml) oil in a food<br />

processor. Pulse until the<br />

chickpeas are smashed,<br />

and the mixture is chunky.<br />

Spoon into a bowl until you<br />

are ready to serve. Wash<br />

and dry the processor.<br />

3. To make the tahini dressing,<br />

combine all the ingredients<br />

in the food processor.<br />

Process until smooth.<br />

4. Spoon the chickpea mixture<br />

over the base of a platter<br />

or serving board. Top with<br />

the spinach, broccolini and<br />

mushrooms. Sprinkle over<br />

the remaining dukkah.<br />

Serve with the dressing.<br />

Hazelnut dukkah: Combine<br />

½ tsp ground turmeric, 1 tsp<br />

chilli flakes, 1 tbs toasted<br />

sesame seeds, 1 tbs ground<br />

coriander, 1 tbs ground cumin<br />

and 1 tsp sea salt flakes in<br />

a jar. Stir in ½ cup chopped<br />

roasted hazelnuts and ¼<br />

cup chopped roasted salted<br />

peanuts; mix well.<br />

Crispy noodle<br />

Mango salad<br />

(Serves 8)<br />

3 Calypso® mangoes<br />

½ red cabbage, finely<br />

shredded<br />

¼ small green cabbage, finely<br />

shredded<br />

3 carrots, peeled, shredded<br />

6 green onions, thinly sliced<br />

1 cup mint leaves, torn<br />

½ cup salted roasted peanuts,<br />

chopped<br />

72 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

100g pkt fried noodles<br />

(Changs brand)<br />

Dressing<br />

4 tbs olive oil<br />

2 tbs soy sauce<br />

1 lime, juiced<br />

2 tsp sesame oil<br />

3 tsp Sriracha chilli sauce<br />

1. Cut the mango cheeks from<br />

the stones. Using a large<br />

spoon, remove the mango<br />

fruit from the cheeks. Slice<br />

the fruit. Place onto a plate,<br />

cover and refrigerate until<br />

ready to assemble.<br />

2. For the dressing, combine<br />

all the ingredients in a jar.<br />

Secure the lid and shake<br />

until well combined.<br />

3. Just before serving,<br />

combine the mango,<br />

cabbage, carrot, green<br />

onions and mint on a<br />

large platter. Toss gently<br />

to combine. Pour over the<br />

dressing, scatter with the<br />

peanuts and noodles. Serve<br />

immediately.<br />

Janelle’s Tip: You can replace<br />

the peanuts with toasted<br />

silvered almonds and add<br />

coriander and bean sprouts.<br />

Caramelised<br />

Brussels Sprouts<br />

with mozzarella<br />

and dried cherries<br />

(Serves 8)<br />

600g Bambino® Brussels<br />

Sprouts, ends trimmed<br />

¾ cup (100g) hazelnuts<br />

½ cup (125ml) extra olive oil<br />

2 tbs honey, plus extra to<br />

drizzle<br />

¾ cup (100g) dried sour<br />

cherries<br />

150g streaky rindless bacon,<br />

thinly sliced crossways<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

1 tbs lemon juice<br />

2 tsp Dijon mustard<br />

3 balls (150g each) buffalo<br />

mozzarella, drained<br />

3 green shallots, finely<br />

chopped<br />

½ cup flat leaf parsley,<br />

chopped<br />

1. Cut the Brussels sprouts<br />

in half, keeping any loose<br />

leaves that fall off.<br />

2. Preheat oven to 200°C fanforced.<br />

Spread hazelnuts<br />

into a roasting pan. Roast<br />

for 5-8 minutes, or until the<br />

skins start to split. Transfer<br />

to a clean tea towel. Cool<br />

for 10 minutes. Use the<br />

towel to rub off the loose<br />

skins. Discard the skins and<br />

roughly chop the roasted<br />

hazelnuts. Set aside.<br />

3. Increase the oven to 230°C<br />

fan forced. Add the Brussels<br />

sprouts and leaves to the<br />

roasting pan. Combine 2<br />

tablespoons (40ml) of the<br />

oil with the honey, spoon<br />

over the sprouts, season.<br />

Turn to coat. Roast for 15<br />

minutes. Turn the sprouts<br />

over, roast a further 5-10<br />

minutes until crisp, golden<br />

and caramelised.<br />

4. Meanwhile, place the<br />

cherries into a small<br />

heatproof bowl. Pour over 2<br />

tablespoons (40ml) boiling<br />

water. Cover and stand for 5<br />

minutes. Drain the cherries,<br />

reserving any water. Place<br />

the bacon into a frying pan<br />

over medium-high heat.<br />

Cook, stirring occasionally<br />

for 5 minutes or until<br />

golden and crisp. Drain on<br />

paper towels.<br />

5. Whisk the remaining 1/3<br />

cup (80ml) olive oil, 1<br />

tablespoon (20ml) cherry<br />

For more recipes go to janellebloom.com.au<br />

water, lemon juice and<br />

mustard together until well<br />

combined. Season.<br />

6. Tear the buffalo mozzarella<br />

into pieces and arrange<br />

over a large serving platter.<br />

Top with shallots and<br />

parsley. Spoon over a little<br />

dressing. Pile the Brussels<br />

sprouts over the salad.<br />

Scatter over the bacon,<br />

cherries and hazelnuts.<br />

Spoon over the remaining<br />

dressing. Serve.<br />

Janelle’s Tip: You can replace<br />

the mozzarella with burrata or<br />

soft, marinated feta.<br />

Quke crunch salad<br />

with peanut lime<br />

dressing<br />

(Serves 8)<br />

2 x 250g Qukes® baby<br />

cucumbers, halved lengthways<br />

4 carrots, peeled, shredded<br />

2 cos heart lettuce, shredded<br />

6 green onions, cut into thin<br />

5cm lengths<br />

8 red radish, thinly sliced into<br />

rounds<br />

2/3 cup flaked coconut,<br />

lightly toasted<br />

1 cup roasted salted peanuts,<br />

coarsely chopped<br />

1 cup coriander leaves<br />

Chilli oil, optional<br />

Peanut lime dressing<br />

2 tbs peanut oil<br />

2 French shallot, thinly sliced<br />

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced<br />

2 tsp dried chilli flakes<br />

1 1/3 cup (220g) roasted<br />

salted peanuts<br />

1 cup coconut cream<br />

1½ tbs (30ml) tamari<br />

2 tbs brown sugar<br />

3 limes, juiced<br />

1. For dressing, place the<br />

oil, shallot and garlic<br />

in a medium saucepan<br />

over medium heat. Cook,<br />

stirring for 3 minutes<br />

or until softened. Add<br />

the chilli and peanuts.<br />

Cook, stirring for 2<br />

minutes. Remove from<br />

the heat. Spoon into a<br />

food processor. Cool for 5<br />

minutes. Add the remaining<br />

ingredients. Process until<br />

well combined. Season. If<br />

the dressing is too thick (as<br />

coconut cream can vary)<br />

add a little warm water to<br />

adjust to your liking.<br />

2. Arrange the Qukes, cut<br />

side up on a large serving<br />

platter. Spoon over a little<br />

dressing.<br />

3. Combine the carrot,<br />

lettuce, green onions and<br />

radish and spoon over<br />

the Qukes. Spoon over a<br />

little more dressing. Top<br />

with coconut, peanuts and<br />

coriander. Drizzle over the<br />

chilli oil if using. Serve with<br />

the remaining dressing.<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 73<br />

Food <strong>Life</strong>

Food <strong>Life</strong><br />

Pick of the Month:<br />

Aussie Lychees<br />

Food <strong>Life</strong><br />

Kumato Puttanesca<br />

(Serves 8)<br />

3 anchovy fillets in oil, drained<br />

½ cup extra virgin olive oil<br />

2 garlic cloves, crushed<br />

2 tsp dried chilli flakes<br />

1/3 cup red wine vinegar<br />

80g mixed salad leaves<br />

1kg Kumato® tomatoes<br />

5 green onions, finely<br />

chopped<br />

4 tbs (40g) salted capers<br />

rinsed, drained<br />

125g (2/3 cup) pitted black<br />

olives, roughly chopped<br />

½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves,<br />

roughly chopped<br />

40g Parmesan, shaved<br />

1. Finely chop the anchovies,<br />

then use a fork to mash<br />

them to a paste.<br />

2. Finely chop Add to a small<br />

non-stick frying pan with<br />

1 tablespoon of oil. Cook,<br />

stirring for 3 minutes<br />

over medium heat until<br />

dissolved.<br />

3. Finely chop Add the garlic<br />

and chilli, cook for 30<br />

seconds. Transfer to<br />

a bowl.<br />

4. Finely chop Cool for<br />

10 minutes. Stir in the<br />

remaining oil, vinegar and<br />

season with pepper.<br />

5. Scatter the leaves over a<br />

serving platter. Slice the<br />

Kumato tomatoes and<br />

arrange over the leaves.<br />

6. Finely chop Top with the<br />

onions, capers, olives,<br />

parsley and parmesan.<br />

7. Finely chop Just before<br />

serving, spoon over the<br />

dressing, season. Serve.<br />

The lychee is a subtropical<br />

fruit, produced on tropical<br />

evergreen trees. After they<br />

flower, the sprays of flowers<br />

become bunches of fruit.<br />

Once ripe, the bunches of<br />

fruit are harvested by hand.<br />

The fruit is oval to round<br />

in shape and about the size<br />

of a walnut. Its thin, red<br />

bumpy skin is easily peeled<br />

to reveal a white, juicy,<br />

translucent ball of firm,<br />

sweet flesh, with a texture<br />

similar to firm grapes. The<br />

fruit surrounds a large shiny<br />

brown seed.<br />

It is Chinese tradition<br />

to offer lychees as a Lunar<br />

New Year good-luck offering<br />

because they are considered<br />

a symbol of romance.<br />

Peeling<br />

Pierce the skin and gently<br />

peel it away from the fruit<br />

in small pieces. You’ll likely<br />

notice a thin, brown layer<br />

from the pit, which will<br />

remain on the inside of the<br />

fruit. Don’t try to remove this;<br />

it’s soft and completely edible.<br />

Lychee fruit<br />

salad with gin and<br />

tonic syrup<br />

(Makes 8)<br />

24 fresh lychees, chilled<br />

¼ large seedless watermelon<br />

1 rockmelon, halved, seeds<br />

removed<br />

1 honeydew melon, halved,<br />

seeds removed<br />

750g green grapes, removed<br />

from stems<br />

1 pomegranate<br />

1 cup mint leaves<br />

Gin and tonic syrup<br />

1 1/3 cups caster sugar<br />

1 cup tonic water<br />

½ cup gin<br />

2 limes, juiced<br />

For the syrup: Place sugar,<br />

tonic and gin in a medium<br />

saucepan over medium heat.<br />

Cook, stirring, until sugar<br />

dissolves. Increase heat to<br />

medium-high and bring to<br />

the boil. Boil for 5-8 minutes<br />

or until syrup thickens<br />

slightly. Remove from<br />

heat. Stir in the lime juice.<br />

Refrigerate until cold.<br />

1. Peel the lychees; place into<br />

a large bowl. Use a melon<br />

baller to cut balls from the<br />

watermelon, rockmelon<br />

and honeydew melon<br />

(alternatively cut into<br />

cubes). Add to the lychees<br />

with the grapes.<br />

2. Roll the pomegranate on<br />

the bench to loosen the<br />

seeds. Score around the<br />

middle and tear open into<br />

two halves. Hold each<br />

pomegranate half over<br />

fruit, seeds facing down<br />

and tap the skin with a<br />

wooden spoon, squeezing<br />

a little to release the seeds<br />

and juice. Remove and<br />

discard any white pith.<br />

3. Just before serving, add<br />

the mint to the fruit, then<br />

pour over the chilled<br />

syrup. Spoon into 8 chilled<br />

glasses. Serve.<br />

Janelle’s Tips: Want to keep<br />

this kid-friendly? Replace<br />

the tonic and gin with apple,<br />

orange or mandarin juice…<br />

Other seasonal fruits that<br />

can be added to this recipe<br />

are cherries, berries, fresh<br />

mango.<br />

In Season<br />

<strong>December</strong><br />

Look out for Apricots;<br />

Raspberries, Blueberries,<br />

Blackberries, Strawberries;<br />

Cherries; Mangoes;<br />

Watermelon; Australian<br />

Pomegranates, Peaches,<br />

Nectarines and Pineapple.<br />

Also Hass Avocados;<br />

Beetroot; Beans; red,<br />

yellow and orange<br />

Capsicum; Qukes; Radish;<br />

Corn and Kumatoes.<br />

74 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Tasty Morsels<br />

with Beverley Hudec<br />

Some Tiny Morsels to savour in <strong>December</strong><br />

Every Sunday is<br />

Xmas Day in Avalon<br />

Avalon’s festive season starts early.<br />

The Yorkshire Rose is celebrating<br />

Christmas on Sundays this <strong>December</strong>.<br />

Of course, roast turkey, with all the<br />

trimmings, is on the menu. There’s<br />

also a choice of roast pork or roast<br />

beef. Free bonbons make it truly<br />

festive. Bookings are recommended.<br />

The Yorkshire Rose is taking bookings<br />

for Christmas parties and will be open<br />

Christmas Eve.<br />

Make this a daily<br />

Grind (of good kind)<br />

Grind Beans’ second cafe has just<br />

opened in Warriewood. Program the<br />

satnav for Daydream St, where you’ll<br />

find Campos Coffee and a selection<br />

of breakfast and lunch staples. The<br />

tradies brekky burger is a perennial<br />

favourite with customers. The<br />

menu also has burgers, wraps and<br />

sourdough toast paired with a variety<br />

of savoury combinations.<br />

Cafe-cum-deli<br />

hits the Heights<br />

Chef Chris Blatchford has<br />

recently opened a cafe-cumdeli<br />

and catering business in<br />

Elanora Heights. Blatchford’s<br />

Kitchen has ready-to-go<br />

salads, Tuscan flatbread<br />

sandwiches stuffed with<br />

Australian and imported<br />

cheeses and delicious goodies<br />

from the deli, and Campos<br />

Coffee. Look for the sunny<br />

yellow-and-white-striped<br />

awning on Kalang Road.<br />

Head Lakeside for<br />

freshest Xmas fare<br />

An Aussie Christmas isn’t complete<br />

without seafood. Lakeside Fish<br />

Market’s focus is on Australian fish<br />

and shellfish including lobster tails<br />

with their distinctive black-and-green<br />

stripes, prawns and oysters. There’s<br />

also fresh-cooked whole lobsters. The<br />

North Narrabeen fish shop is taking<br />

Christmas orders from <strong>December</strong><br />

1. Christmas Eve opening hours are<br />

8am-5pm.<br />

Tasty Morsels<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

Three of a kind: Summer nights<br />

Kick-start the weekend with<br />

relaxing pre-dinner drinks<br />

(pictured) and nibbles. Blessed<br />

with views to Scotland island,<br />

waterfront Marina Cafe's<br />

outdoor deck is just the place to<br />

do it. This Church Point venue is<br />

now open for dinner on Friday<br />

and Saturday nights. The menu<br />

has weekly specials and plenty of<br />

seafood. The market fish of the<br />

day comes with a choice of sides.<br />

From Japanese-style lagers to<br />

a lightly hopped pale ale, you’ll<br />

find Avalon Brewery's range<br />

of craft beer, tucked behind the<br />

butcher on Avalon Pde. Doors<br />

open for a cheeky sundowner<br />

on Fridays and Saturday<br />

afternoons from 4pm. Hoppy<br />

heaven isn’t for everyone, so<br />

the microbrewery has sensibly<br />

added Hickson Rd gin and tonics<br />

to the menu.<br />

Two-hatted Bert’s Bar &<br />

Brasserie is Merivale’s fancy<br />

Northern Beaches’ star. The<br />

Newport brasserie channels<br />

elegant European styling<br />

of a bygone era with an ontrend<br />

seasonal menu priced<br />

accordingly. You’ll find an oyster<br />

bar, raw seafood and fish and<br />

meat dishes cooked over coals<br />

and fruit wood. Dress up and<br />

people-watch, that’s a must.<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 75

Garden <strong>Life</strong><br />

with Gabrielle Bryant<br />

Garden <strong>Life</strong><br />

Keep it real! Consider a cut<br />

or living Xmas tree this year<br />

Christmas is<br />

almost here and<br />

an important job<br />

is to find a Christmas<br />

tree. There are dozens<br />

of fake trees in the<br />

department stores, but<br />

nothing can replace<br />

the look of a real tree,<br />

either cut or living in a<br />

pot, that can be brought<br />

inside year after year.<br />

The touch and smell of<br />

pine needles is part of<br />

Christmas.<br />

With so many varieties<br />

to choose from, it is<br />

hard to decide.<br />

Cut trees are radiata<br />

pines; they have soft<br />

green needles and a<br />

wonderful scent that<br />

fills the room. They are<br />

great for one season –<br />

but they grow fast, are<br />

not very long-lasting in<br />

pots, and are too big for<br />

urban gardens.<br />

Potted trees can be<br />

found in any size, from<br />

tiny table-top pots<br />

(great for unit dwellers);<br />

to 6-foot tall trees<br />

depending on budget and situation. Any<br />

conifer can survive indoors for 10 days,<br />

kept watered.<br />

Norfolk Island pines, slow-growing<br />

Spruce, Cyprus pines, narrow growing<br />

Junipers, Thuyas or any of the conifer<br />

family have strong branches and sturdy<br />

trunks to support lights and decorations.<br />

These are all introduced species; for<br />

a more Australian<br />

Christmas, why not<br />

think about a native<br />

tree? Lillipillies,<br />

Casuarinas, Port<br />

Jackson Cyprus,<br />

Wollemi Pines – or<br />

best of all the Western<br />

Australian Wooly Bush<br />

(pictured), with its soft,<br />

grey foliage. All can be<br />

trimmed to shape.<br />

Your tree will only<br />

manage indoors for<br />

a couple of weeks, so<br />

don’t bring it inside<br />

too soon. Before you<br />

do, make sure that you<br />

water it thoroughly. It<br />

is best kept on a deep<br />

saucer so that water<br />

can’t damage the floor.<br />

Remember to water<br />

regularly while inside<br />

but be very careful to<br />

keep electric wiring<br />

away from the water.<br />

As with any indoor<br />

plant, living Christmas<br />

trees need good light,<br />

and they won’t like air<br />

conditioning.<br />

Once the festivities<br />

are over, take your tree back outside.<br />

After several days indoors be careful of<br />

the sun. A tree can be sunburnt. Harden<br />

it gradually, a few days in the shade,<br />

then a few more in morning sun before<br />

moving it into full sun and exposure,<br />

where with water and a slow-release<br />

fertilizer it will be happy until next year.<br />

Plan a fragrant<br />

garden now<br />

Long summer nights are here – perfect<br />

for an evening BBQ and the time to<br />

enjoy the sweet scent of fragrant flowers.<br />

Fill your garden or terrace tubs with<br />

plants that will increase in fragrance as<br />

dusk come on.<br />

Gardenias are unrivalled for their<br />

scent; grow them as a hedge, as<br />

standards or in pots. The cascading,<br />

pendulous flowers of an apricot, white<br />

or pink Angel’s Trumpet grow on a tall<br />

woody shrub that will not only provide<br />

fragrance at night but will provide<br />

filtered shade through the day.<br />

If you have a nearby fence or a pergola<br />

in a sunny position, plant a stephanotis<br />

(right) that will burst<br />

into bloom with<br />

clusters of creamy<br />

white, deliciously<br />

scented flowers,<br />

without fail, as the<br />

Xmas holidays begin.<br />

Although all<br />

frangipanis are<br />

highly scented,<br />

the common white<br />

variety with the<br />

yellow centre, that<br />

will continue to<br />

flower until late<br />

Autumn, has the most intense fragrance<br />

of all. It is a fact that the most fragrant<br />

flowers are white and not only do they fill<br />

the night air but the pale blooms glow in<br />

the darker light.<br />

76 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Green<br />

thumb<br />

gift ideas<br />

It is often hard to find the<br />

perfect gift for a friend or<br />

family member, but if they<br />

are gardeners nothing could<br />

be easier.<br />

Garden centres are full<br />

of orchids, poinsettias,<br />

begonias, anthuriums,<br />

hanging baskets of colour<br />

and tantalising succulent<br />

bowls. No gardener can ever<br />

have too many plants.<br />

Hand tools, watering cans,<br />

tap timers, gloves, secateurs,<br />

seed packets, seeded<br />

growing kits in coloured<br />

buckets, mason jars, tins,<br />

ceramic planters, grass<br />

heads for kids, and, for the<br />

chef, sprouting seed growing<br />

kits to keep on the kitchen<br />

bench.<br />

If you are really stuck,<br />

consider a gift voucher and a<br />

trip to the garden centre for<br />

breakfast.<br />

Dance up a hydrangea storm<br />

Hydrangeas are in full flower! They make ideal indoor plant<br />

decorations. The huge heads of flowers last for several<br />

weeks before fading.<br />

Before you buy one, check the final height of a fully grown<br />

plant. There are many different varieties, some are small,<br />

growing just 70cm, while others can reach a height of 1.8m.<br />

There are many different types. Amongst the most usual are<br />

hydrangea macrophylla with full round heads of flower; hydrangea<br />

paniculata with conical<br />

flowers; and lace cap<br />

hydrangeas that have<br />

tiny flowers in the<br />

centre surrounded by<br />

large open flowers of a<br />

complementing colour.<br />

Dance party (left)<br />

is one of the most<br />

beautiful of all the<br />

Japanese lace cap<br />

hydrangeas. The large,<br />

double pink flowers<br />

open pale and darken<br />

as they grow older. With<br />

shiny green leaves it<br />

repeats flowers from<br />

early summer until<br />

autumn. If you want<br />

to change the colour,<br />

intensify the pink<br />

with garden lime – or<br />

change to blue with<br />

aluminium sulphate or<br />

bluing tonic.<br />

The Local Voice Since 1991<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong> 77<br />

Garden <strong>Life</strong>

Garden <strong>Life</strong><br />

Jobs this Month<br />

Garden <strong>Life</strong><br />

The rain comes and goes<br />

without trend. The<br />

heavy showers seem<br />

to water the garden but the<br />

water soon runs off, leaving<br />

the surface very dry. It may<br />

sound silly but the garden<br />

needs water! Soaker hoses<br />

are the easiest way to water<br />

without wasting water. And<br />

a warning: Prepare for a hot<br />

dry summer. Clean up all<br />

leaf litter from around the<br />

house and clean the gutters.<br />

Bushfire season is here.<br />

Lawn mowing<br />

Lawns are growing fast, don’t<br />

cut them too short as the sun<br />

will burn the roots that have<br />

been shaded by the leaves. Let<br />

the grass adapt to the warmer<br />

weather gradually.<br />

Veggie top-up<br />

Time for a last planting in<br />

the veggie garden before<br />

the Christmas break. Plant a<br />

second round of tomatoes,<br />

spring onions, zucchinis and<br />

beans that will feed you until<br />

late autumn.<br />

Possum control<br />

Possums can destroy the newgrowing<br />

tips of plants and<br />

shrubs, and they can eat your<br />

veggies and fruits before you<br />

get a chance. Protect fruiting<br />

trees with netting, secure the<br />

net neatly around the base or<br />

trunks of trees. Remember,<br />

unlike birds that will fly down,<br />

possums can climb up under<br />

the netting! If possums are<br />

eating the buds of ornamental<br />

plants, try spraying the plants<br />

with a lavender-scented<br />

aerosol. Possums don’t like the<br />

smell of lavender.<br />

Fill the gaps<br />

The longer evenings are great<br />

for entertaining. Fill any empty<br />

spots in the garden with white<br />

petunias, impatiens, vinca and<br />

alyssum. White flowers glow<br />

in the evening light. White<br />

gazanias look great – but<br />

they will close as the sun goes<br />

down.<br />

<strong>December</strong><br />

Poppy planning<br />

If you plant some poppy seeds<br />

now you will have flowers for<br />

Anzac Day in the Autumn.<br />

BBQ makeover<br />

Brighten up the BBQ area. Give<br />

outdoor furniture a new look<br />

with bright new cushions and<br />

a coat of paint or timber oil.<br />

Solar lanterns or a string of<br />

Christmas lights will let you sit<br />

all evening long. Don’t forget<br />

about the mozzies. Some<br />

citronella flares will keep them<br />

away.<br />

Protect fruit<br />

Protect your citrus and fruit<br />

trees with a fruit fly lure.<br />

A garden treasure hunt<br />

With Christmas holidays here it is time<br />

to get the children away from their<br />

computers and into the garden.<br />

Christmas giving should be a time<br />

of creativity, not just a trip to the local<br />

shopping centre. Send the children on<br />

a treasure hunt into the garden to find<br />

gum nuts, pine cones and eucalyptus<br />

leaves to make into painted gifts, gift<br />

tags and decorations.<br />

Search for interestingly shaped stones<br />

that can be painted with colours, animal<br />

faces, decorated as insects with paper<br />

wings or painted with names as herb<br />

markers in the garden.<br />

One bait kit will protect your<br />

garden. Fruit fly can destroy all<br />

your crops. Place the lures as<br />

soon as the tiny fruit appear.<br />

If you wait too long, it will be<br />

too late.<br />

Crossword solution from page 70<br />

Mystery location: TASMAN SEA<br />

78 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Travel <strong>Life</strong><br />

Seven Seas’ gift of travel<br />

Travel <strong>Life</strong><br />

Travel is a privilege, and<br />

never more so than when<br />

you can explore in luxury,<br />

taking time to savour the rich<br />

kaleidoscope of landscapes,<br />

cultures and flavours that<br />

reveal themselves along your<br />

path like unspoken gifts.<br />

Explore Regent Seven Seas<br />

Cruise’s eclectic collection<br />

of 2024 and 2025 sailings<br />

and you will find plenty to<br />

enthral from the mesmerising<br />

fjords and Nordic cities<br />

of Northern Europe to the<br />

glittering coastlines of the<br />

Mediterranean.<br />

“Stroll the powder-soft<br />

sands of the South Pacific, the<br />

captivating cities of Japan or<br />

picturesque Greek isles,” said<br />

Travel View’s Sharon Godden.<br />

“Step out amidst the<br />

breathtakingly striking<br />

landscapes of Alaska or<br />

immerse yourself in the<br />

distinctive cultures of Africa. Or<br />

wander the iconic coastlines,<br />

national parks and walking<br />

trails of Australia.<br />

“Sip full-bodied wines in<br />

French vineyards or relax<br />

with a moreish cocktail<br />

on some of the world’s<br />

most revered<br />

Caribbean<br />

beaches. These<br />

and many more<br />

extraordinary<br />

experiences lie<br />

ahead when you<br />

choose to reward yourself with<br />

the ‘Gift of Travel’.<br />

Sharon explained Regent<br />

Seven Seas Cruises’ ‘Unrivalled<br />

Experience’ program had<br />

delivered every luxury<br />

included, for 30 years.<br />

“Carrying no more than 746<br />

guests, the line’s spacious<br />

and stylish ships – Seven Seas<br />

Explorer, Seven Seas Mariner,<br />

Seven Seas Navigator, Seven<br />

Seas Splendor, Seven Seas<br />

Voyager and Seven Seas<br />

Grandeur – form Regent Seven<br />

Seas Cruises’ ‘The World’s Most<br />

Luxurious Fleet’ which explore<br />

more than 500 immersive<br />

destinations globally,” said<br />

Sharon.<br />

“Offering their ‘Unrivalled<br />

Space at Sea’ focus, guests<br />

enjoy sumptuous all-suite<br />

accommodation, nearly all with<br />

private balconies – which are<br />

among the largest at sea – as<br />

well as highly personalised<br />

service throughout lavish<br />

public areas and expansive<br />

outdoor spaces.”<br />

Sharon added that<br />

unique to Regent Seven<br />

Seas Cruises, unlimited<br />

shore excursions were<br />

available in every port,<br />

making it the only truly<br />

all-inclusive cruise line.<br />

Voyage fares also<br />

include gourmet cuisine<br />

in a range of speciality<br />

restaurants and alfresco<br />

dining venues,<br />

fine wines and spirits,<br />

entertainment, unlimited<br />

internet access, valet laundry<br />

service, pre-paid gratuities<br />

onboard, a transfer between<br />

hotel and ship, and a one-night,<br />

pre-cruise hotel package for<br />

guests staying in Conciergelevel<br />

suites and higher.<br />

*Don’t miss out – reserve<br />

your suite by 31 <strong>December</strong>,<br />

<strong>2023</strong>; more info contact<br />

Travel View on 9918 4444<br />

or email sales@travelview.<br />

net.au. (Terms and conditions<br />

apply.)<br />

80 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

Times Past<br />

Times Past<br />

The birth of ‘The Stomp’<br />

Late in 1962 a dance called ‘The<br />

Stomp’ surfaced at Avalon Beach in<br />

the surf club.<br />

Contradictory info exists abundantly<br />

and although I didn’t join the club until<br />

1966, clubmate Trevor ‘Pogo’ Fuller was<br />

there at the time and some of what he<br />

later recalled in his revamped recollections<br />

tied in with what legend Bob<br />

McTavish wrote in his book ‘Stoked’:<br />

“… a bunch of us surfers were stuffing<br />

around there one night, all of us being<br />

lousy jivers or quick-steppers. The two<br />

stomps with the left foot, followed by<br />

two with the right, delightfully do-able<br />

for us uncouth mongrels… then pumped<br />

up with adrenalin and beer, we grabbed<br />

girls and showed them the move and<br />

then watched how quickly they caught<br />

on and made it elegant – well, as elegant<br />

as the Stomp could be!<br />

“They added some slow<br />

rotations and some body<br />

swaying.”<br />

The basic step was simple<br />

and caught on very<br />

quickly and although it<br />

looked rather Aboriginal<br />

in its style, it was said to<br />

have been brought back<br />

from a trip to South Africa<br />

by a group of local surfers<br />

or some US sailors on a visiting<br />

warship – take your pick!<br />

Billy Jay and the Sundowners were the<br />

band that played and as the word spread,<br />

‘Stompers’ began to pack the new clubhouse<br />

on Saturday nights. The Ladies<br />

Auxiliary provided the refreshments<br />

which added to the takings.<br />

It became known as the ‘Avalon Stomp’<br />

and even radio station 2UW gave it a plug.<br />

After a festive season layoff, the Stomp<br />

began again on Saturday 5 January 1963<br />

and the club, hoping for a turnout of<br />

around 300, saw 650 roll up! By the end<br />

NOSTALGIC: The poster used by Avalon Beach surf club in 2013 to revitalise memories<br />

of the Stomp era and to say goodbye to the club building before its demolition;<br />

Les Green’s tribute record; and the Stomp revisited by Bandstand in 1963.<br />

of February numbers had<br />

reached over 1,000 and<br />

around 24 club members<br />

were needed to control<br />

and supervise the crowd.<br />

Unfortunately, due<br />

to the very nature of the<br />

‘dance’, with everybody stomping in<br />

time, this created a huge threat to the<br />

sub-floor structure of the relatively new<br />

first floor of the clubhouse. The Honorary<br />

Architect of the new first floor, local<br />

Loyal Alexander, was called to attend<br />

one night and couldn’t believe the distortion<br />

of the main beams.<br />

That signalled the end of ‘The Stomp’<br />

at Avalon Beach surf club.<br />

However, it had provided the 600<br />

pounds – which enabled the overdraft<br />

the Club had taken out to cover the<br />

building costs, to be finalised well before<br />

the due date.<br />

Club member Barry Feehely then took<br />

the band and the dance to North Narrabeen<br />

surf club.<br />

Brian Henderson brought his ‘Bandstand’<br />

crew down to Avalon Beach in<br />

the early 1960s and Col Joye and the Joy<br />

Boys provided the music for a temporary<br />

rebirth of The Stomp on the grassed area<br />

to the south of the old dressing sheds.<br />

This was the last Avalon Beach saw of<br />

the home-grown Stomp.<br />

TIMES PAST is supplied by local historian<br />

and President of the Avalon Beach<br />

Historical Society GEOFF SEARL. Visit<br />

the Society’s showroom in Bowling<br />

Green Lane, Avalon Beach.<br />

82 DECEMBER <strong>2023</strong><br />

The Local Voice Since 1991

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